Featured, Mountain Protection, UIAA

The UIAA – International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation – is delighted to reveal the sixteen nominated projects for this year’s UIAA Mountain Protection Award.

This year’s Award is particularly significant as it 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 16 nominated projects are active in 15 countries on four continents.

Dr Carolina Adler (NZAC), President of the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission: “We are very pleased to see that the UIAA MPA continues to be a platform of choice for the mountaineering community to showcase excellent innovations and projects focused on sustainable development in mountain regions, worldwide. The projects nominated for the 2022 MPA recognise and demonstrate the value of education and meaningful engagement with local communities as key pre-conditions for long-term positive impact and success, which align very much with the UIAA and MPA’s own objectives, too”.

“The projects nominated for the 2022 UIAA Mountain Protection Award are truly inspiring: undertaking mountain ecosystem research; creating mountain protection art; developing sustainable mountaineering education programs; creating sustainable climbing parks as agents of social change; developing software to monitor route conditions; turning plastic waste into insulation in remote alpine regions. And these are just a few of ideas and initiatives represented by the 2022 nominees.” 

Mary Sanseverino (ACC), Chair of the UIAA Mountain Protection Award Working Group: “Determining which of these projects should take home the MPA prizes was no easy task. The evaluation team, the Mountain Protection Commission, and the UIAA support staff worked long and hard to assess the information submitted by the nominees. We can only give out three prizes (MPA Winner, Runner-up and Best New Initiative), but I hope you will all join me in celebrating the dynamic creativity, ingenuity, and originality represented in each and every one of the showcased projects. Well done everyone – thanks to all of you, and MPA sponsor Bally Peak Outlook Foundation, for stepping up and demonstrating what it means to be mountain protection champions!» 

This process, spearheaded by an assessment team of global mountain protection experts (counting environmental scientists, geologists, mountaineers, environmental planners and tourism specialists) involves a thorough analysis of all data and documentation supplied to ensure all guidelines are met. Their volunteer time and expertise in support of this Award process is extremely valuable and the UIAA is grateful for their immense contributions.

Khumbu Sherpa Project

The 2022 MPA showcase website page is now live.

Submissions had to 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 associations, can support the nominee throughout its lifecycle.

For 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. The runner-up and best new initiative will be announced in the lead up to the GA.

The eight winning projects to date have come from eight different countries on four continents.

2022 MPA Showcase page


Canada: State of the Mountains Report by Alpine Club of Canada
Chile: Montañas de Agua by Acceso PanAm
Croatia: A course for guardians of mountain nature by Croatian Mountaineering Association
Indonesia: Save Rinjani by Federation of Indonesia Sport Climbing and Mountaineering Federation/FPTI
Ireland: Waywyser – Worlds First Dedicated Outdoor Recreation Management Platform by Clare Local Development Company
Iran: Project for the protection of endangered species and antelopes in the Shaho Mountains by Paveh Mountaineering and Climbing Board
Korea: Leave Good Trace (for mountain) by Clean Hikers
Nepal: Plastic Waste Management in Annapurna Rural Municipality by Green Decision Labs and Research
#SkiSnowboardNepal by Nepal Foundation for Ski and Snowboarding (NFSS)
Recycling Plastic Waste into Insulation in Khumbu by The Khumbu Sherpa Project
Pakistan: Waste Management practices in K2, Baltoro and other areas of Central Karakoram National Park Gilgit-Baltistan by Directorate of Central Karakoram National Park Gilgit-Baltistan Skardu
Peru: Establishment of self-managed,integral, and sustainable climbing parks as agents of local deveolpment in the district of Pitumarca, Cusco by Club The Wall Climbing Sport Cusco and Asociacion 7a Escalada
Romania: Sanitation of Lake Belis by Romanian Alpine Club (through Ovidiu Motioc)
Spain: Activities Plan 2022-2023 by Centre Excursionista de Catalunya (CEC)
Switzerland/Italy: Clean-up Tour by Summit Foundation
Turkey: Sustainable Mountaineering with Zero Waste by Nokta Mountaineering Sports Club


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: Summit Foundation by Swiss Alpine Club

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