Lake Yi'ong in Tibet (Photo: Tamotsu Nakamura)
About the Mountain Protection Commission
Since it was founded in 1969, the Mountain Protection Commission has worked
to protect the mountains – one of the last natural, unspoilt and free spaces on
earth. The goal is to ensure that the mountains will still be there to enjoy
for future generations of mountaineers and mountain people.
The goal is to ensure that the mountains will still be there to enjoy for future generations of mountaineers and mountain people. The commission educates, provides practical advice and promotes eco friendly behaviour among everyone who visits the mountains.
It’s most recent initiative is the UIAA Mountain Protection Award, and together with other international conservation organisations and networks the commission continues to promote the sustainable development of mountain areas. UIAA member organisations can seek help to fight destructive developments in their countries.
History of the Mountain Protection Commission
Even in the early years of the UIAA, environmental issues were one of the organization’s main priorities. Topics like ‘measures against the construction of cable cars’ or ‘national parks in adjacent mountain ranges’ were already debated at our General Assemblies in the 1930’s.
In 1939, W. Goetel from Poland was asked to form a UIAA
commission for nature protection. However, since this was just before the
outbreak of World War II, the commission was not officially established.
The environmental work of the UIAA continued without a commission and during the 50’s and 60’s the UIAA led the opposition against cable car and railroad projects in high mountains such as the Matterhorn and Jungfrau, sometimes with success. In 1953, the UIAA became a member of the Commission Internationale pour la Protection des Alpes (CIPRA), an organization working for sustainable development in the Alps.
In 1969, the Environment Protection Commission was re-established and soon renamed Mountain Protection Commission (MPC). Radek Roubal from Czechoslovakia became the first post-war president and he encouraged the UIAA to join the World Conservation Union (IUCN), the world’s largest and most important conservation network.
Since then, the MPC has helped UIAA member associations fight against destructive projects in their countries. It has co-operated with other organizations and published papers on environmental issues. The most important of these is the Kathmandu Declaration, which outlines the UIAA’s view on the environmental impact of mountain activities and was approved by the UIAA General Assembly in 1982. Another important document is called "UIAA Environmental Objectives and Guidelines”, and was adopted by the General Assembly in 1997. This document gives an environmental framework for all of UIAA’s activities, declarations and policy decisions. As a response to the growing number of visitors and sport activities in mountains, the Argeos Charter (adopted by the General Assembly in 2006) provides guidance to developing countries about sustainable mountain tourism. Furthermore, the commission was involved in the adoption of other declarations on specific issues, such as climate change, tourism flights and commercial expeditions.
The MPC was also strongly involved in the UIAA’s efforts to secure freedom of access to mountains, especially arguing against unnecessary restrictions which supposedly were made to protect the environment. Nowadays such restrictions are often made for other reasons, such as liability, and therefore a specific UIAA Access and Conservation Commission was created in 1999. The MPC is represented in this commission, but now we can focus all our energy on environmental issues.
MEMBERSHIP IN MOUNTAIN PROTECTION COMMISSION
As confirmed by Management Committee in Flagstaff October 2014
McMillan (President) Linda, USA (AAC)
Adler Carolina, New Zealand (NZAC)
Bagirov Hussein, Azerbaijan (FAIREX)
Beckers Lode, Belgium (CMBEL)
Garrard Rodney, New
Gogic Dragoslav, Serbia (PSS)
Spijker Joop, Netherlands (NKBV)
Alant Maretha, South Africa (MCSA)
Constantinescu Mihai, Romania (CAR)
Moein Amin, Iran (I.R IMSC)
Sherpa Ang Tshering, Nepal (NMA)
Soin Mandip Singh, India (IMF)
Denis Hélène, France (FFCAM)
Mountain Protection News
For young climate experts from developing countries interested in conducting a project in Germany and developing long-term collaborations.
The inaugural UIAA Mountain Protection Award was prominently featured at the prestigious Kiku. International Mountain Summit held in Brixen, Italy with a presentation about the initiative by UIAA commission member Dr. Carolina Adler.
Sustainable tourism was the focus of a two-day conference organized by Western University, the sponsor of the inaugural UIAA Mountain Protection Centre, in Baku, Azerbaijan.
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