Juan J. Ibáñez Martin, the new head of the UIAA Access Commission says the qualified exchange of information between member federations with greater traditions of access and others facing bigger access challenges is key to his group’s work.
“We want to strengthen assistance to members of the UIAA in discussions with the authorities and the managers of protected areas,” said Ibáñez Martin.
Ibáñez Martin took over the reins of the commission from Clare Bond at a meeting earlier this month. He said the work of the group is informed by the understanding that right of access is balanced by responsibility and care for the mountain landscape, bio- and geo-diversity and the cultures and people of the mountains.
The commission’s current work includes continuing attempts to develop an international wiki database where UIAA members and mountaineers can find information on access issues, in multiple languages.
Another area of focus is Expeditions Working Group whose work includes a focus on opening new and closed areas for climbers; developing a consistent and appropriate permit and fee model; reducing fees for young climbers and ensuring fair treatment of local guides.
Ibáñez Martin was born in Oviedo (Principality of Asturias-Spain) in 1971.
He began hiking in “Picos de Europa”, the National Park situated about 100 km from his home and started working with youth people at his local club, Auseva.
For several years, Ibáñez, who teaches Mathematics, worked as a mountain guide and advisor for companies and the regional government in Picos de Europa.
In 1999 he was given responsibility for the Mountain Refuges of the Asturias Federation, and was asked to be part of the Access Commission of the Spanish Federation Federación Española de Deportes de Montaña y Escalada (FEDME).
Ibáñez is the co-author of the FEDME-studies: “Socioeconomic and economical impact of mountain races in rural areas” (2010), and
“Marked trails and sustainable rural development”(2011-12) and has been secretary of the Access Commission since 2009.
About the Access Commission
The UIAA believes that everyone should be able to freely walk and climb in mountains and other areas of environmental and recreational value. But sometimes this is restricted through war, landowner apprehension, or regulation.
Rights of access are balanced by responsibility and care for the mountain landscape, bio- and geo-diversity and the cultures and people of the mountains.
The Access Commission works with international associations, and supports our member federations and others to facilitate access to areas while ensuring their environmental and cultural protection.