The application process for the ninth edition of the UIAA Mountain Protection Award (MPA) is now open.
The UIAA – International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation – is particularly excited about this year’s Award which coincides with the United Nations designating 2022 as the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development. Throughout the year, governments, international organisations and stakeholders are invited to raise awareness of the importance of conservation and sustainable use of mountain ecosystems.
The Mountain Protection Award, partnered by Bally Peak Outlook Foundation, was created with the ambition not only to highlight the importance of mountain ecosystems but to engage climbers and mountaineers in a direct and positive way. The Award also seeks to promote the work of projects who through sustainable mountain tourism initiatives directly support and benefit the lives of mountain communities.
The MPA is truly global. Last year’s Award, combined for 2020 and 2021, saw a massive 24 projects accepted onto the platform. Since 2013, 142 initiatives operating in 49 countries have been showcased. Winning projects have come from eight different countries on four continents. Submissions must be endorsed by UIAA member associations worldwide. This ensures the project is approved at a local level but also, more significantly, that the UIAA and its member association, can support the nominee throughout its lifecycle. A full list of UIAA member associations can be found here.
One of the recent successes has been the Award’s ability to adapt to the pandemic. The 2020-21 MPA was combined to allow projects more time to adapt and adjust to working under Covid-19 restrictions. Indeed only now have some projects been able to make a return to the field. Last year’s Award also saw the hosting of a dedicated webinar to present not only the winner but the runner-up and best new initiative.
In 2022, the Mountain Protection Commission and Award Assessment Team have made a few adjustments to the prize money. This year the winning entry will receive 10,000 euros, the runner-up 4,000 euros and the best new initiative 1,000 euros. The Award winner will be announced at the UIAA General Assembly, scheduled to be held in Banff, Canada on 29 October.
Projects can apply to be showcased as part of the Award through the dedicated online form. Before submitting their entry, project leaders are asked to study the Award Application Guidelines. An English-language version of the flyer is available, other language versions will be made available shortly.
Successful projects will be contacted in June-July, with the online Award platform going live in July 2022.
The UIAA thanks main partner Bally Peak Outlook Foundation for its ongoing support. Further details on Bally’s heritage in mountaineering and commitment to mountain protection can be found here.
Past MPA winners
2013 – Menz-Guassa Community Conservation Area, Ethiopia
2014 – Pamir Horse Adventure, Tajikistan
2015 – KTK-BELT Studio, Nepal
2016 – Mountain Wilderness, France
2017 – Mount Everest Biogas Project, United States
2018 – Community Action Nepal, United Kingdom
2019 – Alpine Leaning Project Weeks, Switzerland
2020-21 – Fondation Grand Paradis, Italy
Main photo: Stock Library