The UIAA Respect the Mountains (RTM) project is evolving to create 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.
Since 2016, RTM has comprised clean-ups events organised by the UIAA in collaboration with partner organisations. The majority of these events have taken place in European mountain areas and in the summer.
The UIAA Mountain Protection Commission recently confirmed that RTM will become a broader movement focusing not only on direct action clean-up initiatives but educational themes and workshops. 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 spread the word within the outdoor community;
– Preserve mountain ecosystems and cultures in their natural state for future generations;
– Promote sustainable mountain recreation, sports and related tourism activities;
– Educate the next generation of mountain explorers and empower them to be sustainable future mountaineers.
“Our experience with RTM events in the past has shown that the mountaineering community, locals and society at large really do care about issues such as sustainability and waste management in our loved open spaces in the mountains,” explains UIAA Mountain Protection Commission President Dr Carolina Adler. “The sheer number of people volunteering to actively take part in these activities demonstrates that passion and concern towards protecting our mountains. Learning from this experience, we acknowledged long ago that we also need to make progress towards addressing the root causes for much of the waste problem in the first place, and that starts with education, awareness and empowerment to do the right thing as the new ‘business as usual’. Informing about the activities that many of our member federations already undertake in this area of work, and broadening that participation to all interested in making a difference, is a next step that we hope to facilitate in 2019”.
How to get involved
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 in the form of an international calendar on the UIAA website. Dedicated guidelines can be found here. To apply for 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.