Membership, Mountain Protection, UIAA

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Since its conception in 2013, the UIAA Mountain Protection Award has proved an emphatic success. In the past seven years, the MPA has showcased and supported 118 projects from over 30 countries. The platform has enabled initiatives to receive international recognition, much-needed funding, exchange ideas and share best practices. Investment generated by the Award has helped projects advance in meeting key targets such as building infrastructures to improve the lives and conditions of mountain people and communities.

The Award is open to projects and associations whose activities are directly related to mountaineering and mountain-based sports and in parallel who demonstrate an engagement and collaboration with local communities to develop a culture of mountaineering activities and initiatives that are both sustainable and that attract and inspire visitors. 2020 marks an exciting new development with the Award partnered by the Swiss luxury brand Bally.  Nominated projects must be supported or recognised by UIAA member associations.

“The UIAA MPA 2020 heralds a great opportunity to not only continue promoting the mountain protection legacy started in 2013, but now also increase the prize money on offer so that real impact and support to scale and sustain projects can be achieved,” explains UIAA Mountain Protection Commission President Dr Carolina Adler. “We are grateful to Bally for this recognition and support and look forward to receiving exciting projects that showcase a real potential for mountaineering and the mountain outdoor recreation community to contribute to building a better world”.

Please click here to download the flyer.

The partnership with a prestigious partner like Bally heralds some significant developments. The overall prize money for the winning project has been increased significantly while Bally will also work to build a communication package to help amplify and drive awareness around the successful initiative through its worldwide press outreach, supporting the UIAA’s own global mountain network.

To apply for the 2020 Award please first refer to the official guidelines.

The application process opens as of 1 March. Click here to apply.

The MPA Assessment Award Team comprises experts in various fields including geography, environmental planning, geology, air pollution, climate change and tourism.

2020 Prizes
UIAA Mountain Protection Award winner (10’000 euros)
UIAA Mountain Protection Award runner-up (5’000 euros)
UIAA Mountain Protection Award Best New Initiative

An Award which makes a difference
The 2019 winner of the UIAA Mountain Protection Award was The Swiss Alpine Club’s (SAC) AlpineLearning Project Weeks, created to provide youngsters from Swiss school classes with the unique opportunity to experience the high mountain landscape of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Jungfrau-Aletsch, Switzerland. “Winning the Mountain Protection Award meant a lot to us. It is a great honour and appreciation of our efforts. Through winning the Award, we hope our project will continue to evolve and develop with new partners and projects across Switzerland,” explained the SAC’s Project Lead Bruno Lüthi

2019 UIAA Mountain Protection Award: Mike Maunsell – UIAA Mountain Protection Commission VP; Françoise Jacquet – Swiss Alpine Club President; Frits Vrijlandt – UIAA President; Irina Gladkikh – IOC Associate Director, Winter Sports and Recognised sports and IF Relations

The benefits and exposure for the winning initiative can be numerous.

In 2015, KTK-BELT was awarded the winning prize. Created in 2013 as a response to forest loss, habitat decrease and a drop in biodiversity, KTK-BELT is a platform for farmers, teachers, designers and environmentalists working together to build community-based biodiversity conservation strategies in the eastern region of Nepal.

Following the Award victory and with the additional help of a grant from the Prince Bernhard Nature Fund, KTK-BELT was able to scale up their pangolin conservation project in Yangshila, recruiting and training four new fellows from Yangshila and Kurul in how to raise village awareness, outdoor education, future mapping, film-making and photography.  Since then they have engaged over 1,000 stakeholders including youth, elders, women, and indigenous people. Over 16 community forest user groups and ten schools were reached.

In 2016 Mountain Wilderness, a project based in Grenoble, France and dedicated principally to the removal of obsolete manmade facilities in the European Alps, was announced as winner of the UIAA MPA. In its fifteen years of existence, Mountain Wilderness has supervised over 400 tonnes of defunct facilities from mountain regions. Over this period some 1,500 volunteers who worked a combined 4,110 workdays.  Over the last three years, the project has gone from strength to strength. In September 2019, Mountain Wilderness helped organise a clean-up initiative in the Canigó massif, Catalunya.

About the UIAA Mountain Protection Award

For further details about the UIAA Mountain Protection Award please click here.

Main Photo: AlpineLearning Project Weeks, Swiss Alpine Club, 2019 UIAA Mountain Protection Award winner


Bally is a Swiss luxury brand established in 1851, with a rich heritage in shoemaking, and a longstanding relationship to architecture, arts and the environment. Today, the brand offers unique designs across shoes, accessories and ready-to-wear, driven by a dedication to craftsmanship and a contemporary aesthetic. Bally has over 300 retail stores and 500 multi-brand points of sale that span across 66 countries worldwide, including a global e-commerce platform serving 34 countries. For more information, please visit