Ten years of the UIAA Mountain protection award

March 28, 2023

Created in 2013, the UIAA Mountain Protection Award celebrates its landmark ten-year anniversary in 2023.

Across its past nine editions, the MPA has showcased over 150 sustainability initiatives in over 50 countries. Each year one project is selected as the Award winner receiving both prize money and recognition through the UIAA’s international climbing and mountaineering network. The nine past recipients of the MPA have come from nine different countries including projects from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America. These have included earthquake disaster recovery programmes, wildlife conservation initiatives, clean-up campaigns on Everest and projects which engage students and young people into mountain protection.

All projects submitted are analysed and scrutinised by the panel of leading experts on the UIAA Mountain Protection Award Assessment Team. A shortlist of nominated projects are showcased on the annual Award platform and through the UIAA’s communication channels. In recent editions, thanks to the support of main partner Bally Peak Outlook Foundation (BPOF), there have been three prize categories – winner, runner-up, best new initiative .

“The UIAA MPA marks a tenth year anniversary this year, which offers a great opportunity to reflect on the sustaining impact and value that such platforms offer in showcasing and rewarding real mountain protection action on the ground. The UIAA Mountain Protection Commission is very proud of its role in establishing and supporting the MPA over the years, with the grateful support from our sponsors and the immensely valuable expertise from external experts, too. We hope that the MPA continues to inspire our member federations and the general mountaineering community to implement their own mountain protection efforts – the projects promoted via the MPA show that they can and do work.”
Dr Carolina Adler, UIAA Mountain Protection Commission President

Submissions come from all corners of the world and focus on diverse topics such as those which directly study and mitigate the impacts of climate change, others focused on the protection of rare flora and fauna and projects which have sustainable tourism and engaging local communities at their heart. What unites all projects is that they are located in mountain regions, that they directly engage climbers and mountaineers as part of their solutions and seek to raise awareness about the diverse threats facing the future of the mountain environment.

WHAT PAST WINNERS SAY

“We believe that being announced as the MPA winner is a big vote of confidence from the UIAA. It is empowering and fills us with motivation to continue our work. We also believe it can inspire others to build a new way of practicing sport, and to be more responsible, inclusive and respectful of the mountain and its diverse cultures.”
Diana Alexia Gómez Cavieres, Asociación 7a Escalada, MPA winner 2022

“Winning the Award gives our work an international dimension, enhancing our project and offering us new perspectives. This important success brings a motivation to continue to strengthen the knowledge of our mountains.”
Luisa Vuillermoz, Fondation Grand Paradis, MPA winner 2020-21

“Winning the UIAA Mountain Protection Award is a huge morale boost to our volunteer team members because it acknowledges their efforts in addressing a solution to the issue of human waste in mountains. The prestige of an endorsement by the UIAA will provide a major boost to our fundraising effort.”
Garry Porter, Mount Everest Biogas Project, MPA winner 2017

Application for the 2023 Award is now open. Before completing the application form, it is important all candidates read the Application Guidelines. The application process closes on 15 May. Nominated projects will be confirmed in July 2023 and profiled between then and the announcement of the winner at the UIAA General Assembly in Trabzon, Turkey on 21 October.

2023 PRIZES

2023 MPA Winner – 6,000 euros prize money, invitation to 2023 UIAA General Assembly, dedicated press release through UIAA’s international distribution network, gold MPA logo

2023 MPA Runner-Up – 3,000 euros, dedicated article on UIAA website, silver MPA logo

2023 MPA Best New Initiative – 1,000 euros prize money, dedicated article on UIAA website, black MPA logo

All nominated projects active in countries where the UIAA has a member association must be endorsed by a UIAA full or associate member. Please refer to the list of UIAA member associations here.

“The Mountain Protection Commission’s MPA team is very excited to see what this year’s projects will bring. In these times of challenging reports from mountain regions it is a true pleasure to receive, work with, and evaluate the mountain protection efforts coming from MPA applicants. The projects celebrate and showcase the commitment, enthusiasm, and innovation that people around the world bring to protecting mountain spaces. All of us at the UIAA, along with MPA sponsor Bally Peak Outlook Foundation, encourage you and your group to submit a project to this year’s award. You will get expert constructive feedback and be showcased via the UIAA and Bally. And, since letters of support, especially from UIAA member federations, are a key part of the application, the MPA is an opportunity for your project to become well known and garner support at the local, regional, national, and/or international level even before the 2023 award is announced. Why not make 2023 the year your group applies?”
Mary Sanseverino, UIAA Mountain Protection Commission member and MPA Working Group chair

UIAA member associations are encouraged to circulate details of the opening of the 2023 MPA.

A media kit including high-resolution imagery, information about the Award, Award logos and social media posts can be viewed here.

APPLICATION

Read the Application Guidelines here
Submit your application project here
Visit the Mountain Protection Award page

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
2022 – Asociación 7a Escalada, Peru

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