Featured, Mountain Protection, UIAA

Following consultation between various parties – Mountain Protection Commission (MPC) delegates, the Award Assessment Team, the UIAA Executive Board, UIAA Office and main sponsor Bally – the UIAA MPC has taken the decision to postpone the evaluation and prize designation for the 2020 UIAA Mountain Protection Award to 2021.

The application portal – live since 1 March – will remain open for proponents to submit projects and initiatives for the 2020-2021 Award. Assessment will commence in mid-2021 and the Award winner announced at the 2021 UIAA General Assembly, currently scheduled for the autumn of that year. The deadline to submit applications will be confirmed at a later date.

“After several online meetings and exchanges, the decision to postpone the Award to 2021 has been taken to demonstrate our solidarity to UIAA members, partners and those organising mountain-based sustainability projects during this unprecedented global pandemic. All of whom have many other priorities and concerns at present,” explains Dr Carolina Adler, MP Commission President. “Equally we need to respect limitations on travel to the mountains for non-essential purposes as many of the projects showcased as part of the MPA require ongoing physical presence in mountain regions. Furthermore, the 2020-2021 Award will provide a platform to help aid the recovery and regeneration of many projects significantly impacted by the current crisis.”

The UIAA will continue to showcase the Mountain Protection Award throughout 2020. An upcoming communication series will share information on the progress made by past winners of the Award in fulfilling their goals and ambitions. Part of the platform’s very core is to support and follow the progress of nominees and provide inspiration for tangible actions and initiatives that can be taken to see better outcomes for mountain regions worldwide, not least given the need to prioritise new development models in light of this pandemic.

Past MPA Winners

2019, Swiss Alpine Club, Switzerland
2018, Community Action Nepal, UK
2017, Mount Everest Biogas Project, USA
2016, Mountain Wilderness, France
2015, KTK-BELT Studio, Nepal
2014, Pamir Horse Adventure, Tajikistan
2013, Menz-Guassa Community Conservation Area, Ethiopia

In a similar vein, the UIAA MPC has decided to freeze any promotion of Respect the Mountains Movement events on its international calendar until further notice. When restrictions are lifted or relaxed by competent authorities in certain countries, the UIAA MPC will give due consideration to the promotion of certain events. Further details will be communicated in due course.

In the meantime, the MPC will convene later this month at its annual meeting, which this year will take place online. On the agenda are key discussions and decisions to be taken on promising prospects to further develop the future of the Mountain Protection Award and well as the Respect the Mountains Movement, among other projects and initiatives underway in the Commission. More news regarding those outcomes, and how member federations can benefit, will be communicated in due course.