A Mountain Protection Rendezvous

In mid May, and during the same weekend as the UIAA Management Committee session, the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission held both its annual meeting and organised a joint meeting with the UIAA Access Commission. The meetings were held in Baku, Azerbaijan and hosted by FAIREX.


UIAA Mountain Protection meeting

The following participants took part:

Linda McMillan (President, AAC delegate)
Joop Spijker (NKBV delegate)
Carolina Adler (NZAC)
Amin Moein (I.R.IMSCF delegate)
Maretha Alant (MSCA)
Stephen Goodwin (TAC)
Valérie Thöni (UIAA Office)
Hélène Denis (UIAA Board)

During the meeting, the following points were discussed:

· Commission Membership. Dr Carolina Adler was put forward as candidate for the UIAA Mountain Commission presidency with immediate effect. The proposal was then approved by the UIAA Management Committee. Lode Beckers will join the Access Commission as a full member but remain part of the Mountain Protection Commission as a corresponding member and link between the two commissions.

· Sponsorship reports and issues. Proposals to identify sponsorship criteria and increase revenue sources to kick start project ideas and initiatives.

· Communication strategy and issues. Greater synergy needed between sustainability projects and other UIAA-wide initiatives and projects. Confirmation of which Mountain Protection delegates will attend 2016 conferences, with a view towards fostering networks, greater participation and collaboration with the research community, public and private sectors.

· 2016 UIAA Mountain Protection Award. Extension of project deadline from 15 to 30 June. Potential involvement for a project ambassador (for the MPA and wider UIAA sustainability mandates).

· UIAA Respect the Mountains. Developing the project outside of Europe in future years with a focus on working with UIAA national member federations.

UIAA Mountain Protection & Access Commission meeting

The UIAA Access and Mountain Protection commissions met in Baku in Mid May.

The following participants took part:

Access Commission:

–  Juan J Ibanez Martín (President), Spain
–  Milos Jodlowski, Poland
–  Jack Berguin, Ireland
–  Lode Beckers, Belgium
–  Joerg Eberlein, Germany

Mountain Protection Commission:

–  Linda McMillan (President), USA
–   Stephen Goodwin, UK
–  Amin Moein, Iran
–  Carolina Adler, New Zealand
–  Joop Spijker, Netherlands
–  Husein Bagirov, Azerbaijan


–  Tom McMillan (external observer)
–  Valérie Thöni, UIAA Office

The aim of the joint UIAA Mountain Protection/Access meeting was to present the activities of the two commissions and discuss the possibility for joint future actions.

The following points were discussed:

The two Commissions convened that their missions are similar and activities complementary, although with their own key differences.  There lies a common will to exchange information and expertise and to have a joint action on future projects, especially related to education/training.

· The Access Commission members presented their core activities and issues faced highlighting the crucial need for regular information from national member federations. The idea was raised that member federations should send information about their activities related to access and mountain protection in the form of their annual reports. 

· The Access Commission is not satisfied with the current wiki-database and proposes that the UIAA Office gathers information from the federations to develop a more effective database.

· The Mountain Protection Commission proposed reviewing the UIAA Environmental Guidelines which were adopted in 1997 and published in 2002, to look at the other declarations and statements of the UIAA, and, using that, to upgrade the Guidelines, linking them to the Climber’s Manifesto. 

· Developing a framework for further elaboration of a proper training syllabus about environment, mountain protection and access issues, which would be included in the UIAA Mountaineering Qualification Labels. 

· The two commissions convened that their most important goal is to protect mountains and that environmental education is a long-term solution. The commissions also recognised that they need to have an integrated approach, taking into account the interests of different regions.

· The role of the Sky Running Federation (ISF) in the UIAA and about Sky Running activities related to environment issues. They stressed the importance to have guidelines which would drive all UIAA activities.

· Regarding future meetings, the commissions agreed to stay in regular contact and to meet every two to three years at the same location for a common session.