UIAA to create annual awards platform

Featured, Membership, Mountain Protection

The UIAA is announcing exciting plans to restructure its existing annual awards as part of a platform dedicated to showcasing the UIAA’s slogan ‘The Global Mountain Network’.

Currently the UIAA organises the Mountain Protection Award (since 2013), a Rock Climbing Festival Award and occasional prizes for mountain film festivals. The UIAA is regularly asked to consider creating other award categories.

Throughout 2024, the UIAA will draft plans for the creation of a new Award platform and ceremony, starting in 2025. As well as integrating existing awards, new ideas will be discussed, including:

  • UIAA athlete and volunteer of the year
  • Most significant initiatives and achievement(s) in enhancing safe and responsible practices
  • Mountain/climbing photograph of the year
  • Mountain film of the year
  • UIAA member association(s) of the year
  • Mountaineering moment of the year (best practice)

All awards will be presented at one ceremony, a celebration potentially as part of the annual UIAA General Assembly. Once plans for the Awards are finalised, the UIAA will provide information for member federations to submit ideas as well as details for partners and sponsors to become involved.

2024 Mountain Protection Award

One consequence of this restructuring project is the decision, made in collaboration with the Mountain Protection Commission, to not run the 2024 Mountain Protection Award.

The Mountain Protection Award Working Group will instead focus on redeveloping ideas for the MPA, expansion plans, as well as ensuring closer alignment between the MPA and the UIAA’s Climate Change Action Plan, imminent UIAA Social & Environmental Sustainability Guidelines as well as the new UIAA Strategy to be launched in 2025.

Since 2013, the MPA has been the UIAA’s flagship programme in sustainability and has proved immensely popular drawing applications from some 150 projects active in over 50 countries. Being part of the Award has enabled projects to secure much needed funding, receive guidance from the MPA assessment team’s international experts, and use being part of the platform to successfully lobby governments, local authorities and other stakeholders. 2024 will be used to celebrate nominees and winners of the past ten editions and highlight what these projects have achieved, not least through the feedback and recognition via the UIAA Mountain Protection Award.

While the 2024 Award will not run in its normal format, ie. there will be no nomination platform nor prizes, the MPA team will offer UIAA member federations and projects interested in mountain protection the opportunity to have projects reviewed for feedback. Further details will follow.

As Mary Sanseverino, chair of the UIAA MPA Working Group, explains:

“The MPA Working Group will offer expert project review and feedback as both a service for our member federations and to demonstrate the UIAA’s longstanding commitment to mountain protection. Member federations, projects they recommend, or other interested groups will be able to use a scaled-down and repurposed MPA Project Application Portal on the UIAA website to request feedback. It could also provide projects with support ahead of applying when a much revamped and improved Award returns in 2025.”

For any specific questions please contact the UIAA Mountain Protection Award team.