The UIAA incorporated the Respect the Mountains project into its sphere of activities in 2015.

The project forms part of the UIAA’s longstanding commitment to sustainability and mountain protection and is partnered by KEEN. It is governed by the Seven Ways to Respect the Mountains, and the project’s core aim comprises: raising awareness about sustainable environmental practices; spreading the word within the outdoor community; preserving mountain ecosystems and cultures in their natural state for future generations; promote sustainable mountain tourism and activities and educate the next generation of mountain explorers and encourage them to be sustainable followers. The project encourages all mountain stakeholders – organizers, resorts, tourists, outdoor companies and all mountain lovers to come together and volunteer at the events.

UIAA member federations wishing to organise Respect the Mountains event as part of the 2017 Series are invited to contact: mountainprotection@theuiaa.org

Latest News

2016 UIAA Respect the
Mountains Series

The first UIAA Respect the Mountains series ran throughout Europe during the summer of 2016. Nine events took place in eight European countries. Nearly five tonnes of tourist waste were cleared by over 600 volunteers who covered some 3,300 kilometres of paths, trails, forests and slopes.

United KingdomLLANBERIS, NORTH WALES

Event Programme

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ItalyCIVITELLA ALFEDENA, ITALY

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austriaMAYRHOFEN-HIPPACH, AUSTRIA

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Event Report

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RussiaMOUNT KAZBEK, RUSSIA

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   PIATRA CRAIULUI, ROMANIA

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Number of events: 9

Total number of participants: 614

Total nationalities: 19

Distance covered: 55 km

Cumulative distance covered: 3,316 km

Number of garbage bags collected: 482

Total amount of waste collected: 5 tonnes 

How to Respect the Mountains

The UIAA Respect the Mountains project encourages all its national member federations and mountain stakeholders to adopt the 7 Ways to Respect the Mountains practices by following these simple yet effective actions and to build a sustainable future.

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#1 Why not explore a less known mountain resort/range and travel at low season or off-season? This will have less impact on the mountains in during peak season. Research and book ski holidays based on sustainable practices and ethics of the resort.

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#2 UIAA Respect the Mountains encourages tourists to use lower carbon transportation methods. For example, take a bus, train or carpool with friends to the mountains from home. When at the resort, use public transport, walk, hike, bike and skateboard to get around.

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#3 Seek out and support sustainable businesses that are servicing the mountain tourism industry. Choose skiwear brands, hotels, adventure companies, travel services that are actively contributing towards sustainable development. Buy locally grown produce whilst at the resorts. Be knowledgeable of alternative energy solutions.

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#4 Respectful – Too often the tourist mentality is: ‘This is not my backyard, I don’t care’. This affects how tourists treat locals, culture and the environment. Be respectful of locals and their customs and considerate of other mountain users.

Responsible – Educate yourself on local mountain conditions: research weather forecasts, consult local park services/ or guides, and be well prepared before going into the mountains.

If you plan to leave the ski area boundary, realize that an expensive search and rescue operation can be easily avoided with proper knowledge, guidance, weather forecasts and preparation. If inexperienced, go with a guide.

Always Respect the Mountains.

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#5 Mountain environments themselves are under threat with so many tourists each year. The visiting tourists come for a wide variety of reasons. They seek adrenaline, challenge, enjoyment, connection with other people and the beauty of nature, and more. Flora, fauna and wildlife also live in the mountains, and mountain communities, countries and cities downstream depend on glacial water for their livelihoods.

What you take with you to the mountains (rubbish, plastic), take away with you from the mountains.

Stay on the paths created by local authorities. These have been created and maintained to keep tourists safe, to protect local flora and fauna and avoid unnecessary conflict between wildlife and humans. Also consider this when going off-piste.

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#6 This is the 21st century. Let’s not ignore the global knowledge, understanding and technologies that are available.

  • Reduce your impact
  • Reuse items
  • Recycle the waste you cannot reuse
  • Upcycle what you can to reinvent waste into something of new value

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#7 There are few people that visit the mountains that don’t love the mountains. Share your experiences with friends, family, colleagues and business partners.
Inspire, encourage and act as good role models for others so that they too respect the mountains, so that future generations can play, work, enjoy ‘enjoy being in the mountains.

Share how this organisation is meeting the need towards a positive, thriving and sustainable mountain tourism industry.

Project Partner

KEEN Inc

KEEN Inc.

Inspired by a love of the outdoors, KEEN Inc. manufacturer of hybrid outdoor and casual products, including footwear, bags and socks, is dedicated to creating quality products that support the lifestyles and outdoor adventures of active people around the world. KEEN products can be found online and through more than 5,000 retail locations in more than 60 countries, as well as in KEEN Garage retail stores in Portland, Palo Alto, Tokyo, Prague and Toronto, where fans can enjoy the branded experience. The company operations and culture reflect a stand-out commitment to building a strong community and a healthier planet so that all can create, play, care.

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