Mountain Protection, UIAA

Ahead of this year’s United Nations’ International Mountain Day (IMD) – 11 December – the UIAA is promoting a series of initiatives. These include those led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), UIAA member associations, Mountain Partnership, the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) as well as those organised by the UIAA itself.

The annual UIAA Mountain Protection Award (MPA), partnered by Bally, was created in 2013. During its eight years of existence, the platform has enabled people to raise finances to build key infrastructures, conduct vital research and fulfil pending project goals. In parallel, it has provided an international showcase and communication platform for projects to raise awareness and exchange ideas and initiatives. Not only has it supported local communities, it has fostered its own global community. The Award celebrates innovation and the desire of climbers and mountaineers to make a positive difference.

Owing to Covid-19, the 2020 Award has been postponed to 2021. Application though is open and full details can be found here. A significant focus of the Award is the support and showcase the UIAA offers all nominated projects throughout their lifecycle.

UIAA & International Mountain Day

For International Mountain Day (IMD), representatives from five MPA nominees on three continents have provided information on recent progress of their initiatives, how their project directly promotes biodiversity (the official theme of IMD 2020), the wider importance of biodiversity to mountain life and the impact Covid-19 has had on their operations. The projects will also feature as part of a dedicated IMD social media campaign (#mountainsmatter).

“Mountains contribute considerably to global biodiversity on Earth, providing many ecosystem services such as food and medicinal resources and freshwater to more than a fifth of the world’s population,” explains UIAA Mountain Protection Commission President Dr Carolina Adler. “Other benefits include the immense value that we as mountaineers derive from mountains for recreation, connection, and well-being. For this reason, International Mountain Day is a way to not only to remind us of this value, but also to invite us to partake in the advocacy and actions needed to ensure we contribute positively to preserving and enhancing mountain biodiversity.”

If you wish to support any of the individual MPA projects or the Award in general, donations can be made through the dedicated UIAA page.

Full details on the UIAA – and its partners – activities for IMD can be found here.

Profiled Projects

Patagonia Waste Management, Argentina
Study and Monitoring of Chachacomani Glacier, Bolivia
Save the Barun, Nepal
Swat Project, Pakistan
John Muir Trust, UK


The UIAA has also recently commenced a series profiling past Mountain Protection Award winners. Featured projects to date are the  Mountain Wilderness France (2016), Mount Everest Biogas Project (2017) and AlpineLearning Project Weeks (2019).


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