Earlier this year, the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission put in motion a new direction for the Respect the Mountains series with a departure from the 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 and recognised by the UIAA.
The response to this initiative has been impressive with over 50 events already published on the UIAA’s online international calendar, a platform designed to provide mountain visitors with details about events they can join and contribute to. The events typically combine a mountain clean-up activity with an educational programme and outdoor elements.
A number of events organized by UIAA member associations have already taken place or confirmed for 2019. These include initiatives from 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). UIAA partner organisations including Mountain Wilderness and Clean Climber have also provided details of events. More meet-ups will be revealed as part of World Clean-Up Day on 21 September.
“We are delighted with the impact of the new UIAA Respect the Mountains concept,” explains UIAA Project Manager Carol Kahoun. “Members have expressed their delight at the extra visibility and awareness provided by being part of the UIAA platform and the sense of being part of something bigger. The UIAA itself is collecting data from all events to measure the impact of the Series in terms of number of participants and waste collected. We encourage all members to send us details of their events.” Members can add their events to the calendar by completing the following form.
With the scope of evolving the project even further, the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission is looking at how the 2019 RTM campaign develops and unfolds to evaluate options for future development. A dedicated workshop is planned in October. “We encourage feedback from our member associations and those organisations listed in the calendar,” explains UIAA Mountain Protection Commission President Dr Carolina Adler. “We will contact members in the lead up to the workshop, to enable us to consider their experiences, views and ideas for development. This would highly appreciated.” Members wishing to provide feedback can write to Dr Adler directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
In Canada, the ACC organised a series of Respect the Mountains events in mid-June. Fifteen of its sections across the country participated. Each Section had stewardship over its own event ensuring each organiser put their own spin on the programme. Clean-up initiatives included roping up at local crag clean-ups, trail maintenance near backcountry hut locations and partnering with local conservation agencies to spread environmental knowledge. “It was great to see how committed our Club is to environmental responsibility in the places that we recreate,” explained the ACC’s Director of Services Sarah Karasiuk. “We are looking forward to hosting the Respect the Mountains event as an annual initiative each summer. We also plan to continue our partnership with Mountain Equipment COOP to deliver an even more wide-reaching event in the coming years.”
About Respect the Mountains
Further Reading on recent events:
Clean Climber: https://www.theuiaa.org/home/2019-uiaa-respect-the-mountains-movement-underway/