The UIAA’s Respect the Mountains (RTM) Movement continued to evolve and develop throughout 2019, creating more opportunities for collaboration between the UIAA, its member associations and other partners, greater access to events for mountaineers and increased visibility for sustainability-focused projects showcased on a new international calendar.
The RTM movement has evolved since its inception in 2016. Since 2019 there has been a shift from the original model of UIAA-organised events – primarily located in popular European mountain resorts – to the creation of an international platform for events organized by UIAA members and partners recognised by the UIAA.
Rather than solely focusing on clean-up initiatives, there has been an added emphasis on the importance of the educational and awareness raising aspects of the movement, for example the importance of conservation, with dedicated workshops focusing on raising awareness of best practices as well as a change in outlook on promoting existing initiatives opposed to organising additional ones.
RTM will continue to be governed by the principles behind the 7-Ways to Respect the Mountains. The projects goals are to:
Raise awareness about sustainable environmental and socio-cultural practices;
Set an example and spreading the word within the outdoor community;
Preserve mountain ecosystems and cultures for future generations;
Promote sustainable mountain recreation, sports and related tourism activities;
Support all generations – young and old – through education and empowerment to be effective sustainable mountaineers now and in the future.
During 2019 RTM truly went global. This was thanks to initiatives organised by a number of UIAA member associations including the German Alpine Club (DAV), the British Mountaineering Council (BMC), Mountaineering Ireland (MI), the New Zealand Alpine Club (NZAC) and the Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) among many others.
Bodies from over 15 nations cumulatively organised 19 initiatives comprising 74 events, a huge increase on the eight events in 2018.
These initiatives are only possible with the help and support of UIAA’s volunteers and partners. In 2019, over 5,000 volunteers contributed to these events, helping to collect approximately 27.7 tonnes of waste and covering a staggering distance of 111,000 kms. The UIAA’s RTM partner Sunday Afternoons will continue to sponsor the movement for 2020. Sunday Afternoons is committed to raising awareness about the RtM movement as well helping to preserve and protect mountain ecosystems globally. Last year, Sunday Afternoons provided a welcome financial contribution as well in-kind contributions in trucker hats.
Why and How to Join the Movement in 2020
RTM encourages all mountain stakeholders – UIAA member associations, recreational clubs, resorts, tourists, outdoor companies and all mountain lovers to come together and volunteer at events. The collection of organised events worldwide is referred to as the Respect the Mountains Movement, which can be followed online through an international calendar on the UIAA website. Dedicated guidelines on why and how to join the movement can be found here. To register your event to be part of the UIAA international calendar, and consequently the RTM movement, please complete the brief, online form.
Using the UIAA as a global platform, mountaineers can make a positive impact by coming together at their favourite or local mountain area to take action in protecting the mountains.