Nominations for 2016 UIAA Mountain Protection Award invited

Friday, 11 March, 2016 - 10:02
If the moment has arrived to take your sustainability project to the next level, then please note that the application period for the 2016 UIAA Mountain Protection Award (MPA) is now open.

Nomination for the much coveted Award, launched by the UIAA in 2013 and sponsored byWestern University and Golden Rock Travel of Azerbaijan, is open to associations and travel agencies working in the mountain environment who are engaged in at least one of the following activities:

-       Conservation of biodiversity – including plant and animal species;
-       Sustainable energy and resource management;
-       Sustainable waste management and disposal;
-       Adaptation to/mitigation of effects of climate change; and
-       Protection of the environment through culture and education.

Nominees must also demonstrate engagement and collaboration with local communities to develop a culture of ecotourism initiatives, which attract and inspires visitors.

Becoming part of the UIAA’s network creates tangible benefits for both the nominees and the Award winner in terms of raising project awareness and support.


Should your project fit the criteria outlined above, you can apply by Wednesday 15 June at:

Once your project is accepted by the UIAA Mountain Protection Award team, it will be promoted on the dedicated project website and through the UIAA’s communication initiatives in the lead up to the 2016 Award ceremony.

The 2016 Award winner will be announced at the UIAA General Assembly in Brixen, Italy from 12-16 October.

The Award

The UIAA MPA was created in 2013 and focuses on the promotion of responsible mountain tourism and the reward of outstanding initiatives from mountain stakeholders (associations and tourism agencies). It helps develop and support community-based tourism that simultaneously contributes to the conservation of ecosystems and sustainable livelihoods for local people.

The project creates international recognition for both nominees and the winner. The recipient of the Award receives a cash grant and the opportunity to present their activities at the UIAA and UIAA partners' events. The Award programme functions as an awareness platform, where initiatives are posted, can attract direct donations and are promoted though the UIAA’s network of 80 national federations and three million members.

Winners are chosen at the UIAA General Assembly every October by the Assessment and Award Team which coordinates the review and approval/denial of applications of mountain protection initiatives.  The Team is composed of internationally recognized experts who are specialists and academics in environment/mountain protection issues, as well as expert members from the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission.

The Award is sponsored by Western University and Golden Rock Travel of Azerbaijan.

Past Winners 

The Menz-Guassa Community Conservation Area (GCCA) situated in the northern highlands of Ethiopia was the first recipient of the UIAA Mountain Protection Award. The conservation area was created in 2003 to protect both a diverse region with rare animals as well as a response to the problem of illegal grazing on environmentally sensitive grasslands. The conservation plan today is based on centuries’ old local Qero communal system of grassland management. 

The 2014 winner was Pamir Horse Adventure, a Tajikistan-based community tour operator, for its conservation and tourism development initiatives in the Pamir Mountains. One of its main goals is to develop horse breeding in the region through promoting cultural events, traditional horseback sports and horseback tours. In parallel, Pamir Horse Adventure raises awareness about endangered species, such as the snow leopard.

Last year’s winner was Nepal-based project KTK-BELT Studio (in full ‘Koshi Tappu Kanchenjunga Biodiversity Education Livelihood Tera Studio'). Created in 2013 as a response to forest loss, habitat decrease and a drop in biodiversity, KTK-BELT is a platform for farmers, teachers, designers and environmentalists working together to build community-based biodiversity conservation strategies in the eastern region of Nepal.

Since winning the Award, the team at KTK Belt have been able to invest the Award prize money in mapping existing vegetation, wildlife habitats, hazards along with planning possibilities in the Sikti conservation area and with the support of the UIAA network ran a successful KickStarter campaign fundraising for its Vertical University project.

For further details please contact the Mountain Protection Award team at:
Work regions: 
Mountain Ranges: 

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