Featured, Membership, Mountain Protection, UIAA

Application process now open for the
2017 UIAA Mountain Protection Award.  
The deadline is 30 June, 2017 (extended to 14 July, 2017).

During its five years of existence, the annual UIAA Mountain Protection Award has made a tangible difference to mountain lives, communities and the environment. It has enabled people to raise finances to build key infrastructures, conduct vital research and fulfil pending goals; it has provided an international showcase and communication platform for projects to raise awareness and exchange ideas and initiatives. Not only has it supported local communities, it has fostered its own global community. The Award celebrates innovation and a desire to make a difference.

Mountain Wilderness (France), winner of the 2016 UIAA Mountain Protection Award

These qualities have been at the fore of the four diverse winners of the Award. Mountain Wilderness, France, a project focused on the removal of obsolete infrastructures in the Alps, was the recipient of the 2016 Award. A year earlier, a KTK-BELT was recognised for its work in creating a platform for farmers, teachers, designers and environmentalists to work together to build community-based biodiversity conservation strategies in the eastern region of Nepal. The inaugural winner – the Menz-Guassa Community Conservation Area – combined sustainable conservation with local tourism management in the Afroalpine highlands of northern Ethiopia. Horse travel and tourism was the central component of 2014 winner, Pamir Horse Travel, Tajikstan. Winning the Award has enabled each project to accelerate through the next phase of its timeline, provided an injection of confidence, and access to a wider, international network of support.

“The Mountain Protection Award is about acknowledging proactive efforts on mountain protection, which would otherwise not find the recognition or promotion. It is about giving them a ‘leg up’ in these efforts, especially for those initiatives that seek to improve the way we conduct our mountaineering sport in a more sustainable way,” explains the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission President Dr Carolina Adler.

Showcased projects are united in their efforts to not only improve the lives of mountain communities but to involve them directly in the process, and to ensure intrinsic cultural values are respected and upheld. Local communities are not the only beneficiaries. “The mountaineering community, also gain,” adds Dr Adler, “by rewarding efforts that ensure a more sustainable way for doing what we love doing, which is in our interest and that of future generations.”

KTK-BELT Studio (Nepal), winner of the 2015 UIAA Mountain Protection Award

UIAA member federations are encouraged to promote the Award to help mountain sustainability projects and initiatives they support in their own countries. Dr Adler adds: “For UIAA members, it is about helping us to help them (i.e. you) count on continued enjoyment of the mountain space, knowing that we are doing our collective part to ensure its sustainability over the long term. These collective actions not only have intrinsic rewards that help us ‘feel good inside’ for something we love, but also very tangible results for ensuring we can count on a clean and protected mountain environment for all.”

Interested? To showcase your project as part of the 2017 UIAA Mountain Protection Award, please



The award targets projects supported by UIAA member federations, other non-profit organizations, tourism agencies, and/or mountain protection groups

The UIAA Mountain Protection Award platform is open to associations and travel agencies working in the mountain environment who are engaged in at least one of the following activities:

  • Conservation of biodiversity – including plant and animal species
  • Sustainable energy and resource management
  • Sustainable waste management and disposal
  • Adaptation to/mitigation of effects of climate change
  • Protection of the environment through culture and education

Nominees must also demonstrate engagement and collaboration with local communities to develop a culture of sustainable initiatives which attract and inspire visitors.

To showcase a project on the MPA platform, you must first submit an application and meet our criteria for inclusion. Applying to have an initiative or project showcased in the UIAA MPA platform is free of charge.

Menz-Guassa Community Conservation Area, was the first winner of the UIAA MPA


  • Every approved initiative and project submitted to the UIAA MPA is showcased as part of the MPA platform. Becoming part of the UIAA’s global network creates tangible benefits for both the nominees and the Award winner in terms of raising project awareness and support.
  • All nominees are promoted individually through the UIAA’s social media channels while the project itself is showcased in the monthly UIAA newsletter and dedicated press release.
  • Furthermore, the winning project receives as 5,000 USD financial grant, is featured in a dedicated press release and invited to the UIAA General Assembly. The 2017 winner will be announced at the UIAA GA in Iran on 20-21 October.


To apply please click the link below. For a project to be considered by the Award Assessment team, all questions must be answered.

Apply here:

For further application details please click here:


An UIAA Mountain Protection Award Team evaluates the submitted projects. The assessment team include experts from the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission, external experts and UIAA partners.



Stone Horse Expeditions (Mongolia), one of the projects showcased in 2016

The 23 international projects nominated for the 2016 Award can be found here.



2013 – Menz-Guassa Community Conservation Area
2014 – Pamir Horse Adventure
2015 – KTK-BELT Studio
2016 – Mountain Wilderness, France

(Please click on year to read dedicated winner’s article)

The UIAA Mountain Protection Award is supported by Golden Rock Travel and Western University of Azerbaijan.

Main photo: Credit: WinMeNot via / CC BY