Association SinHuella helps restoring climbing areas and educates about forest conservation
Project Status: 6 months – one year
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Nongovernmental organization “Asociación SinHuella” undertakes the restoration of climbing activities in “Los Manyos”, in the locality called “El Manzano” in “El Cajón del Maipo”. This is the first stage of a bigger project, which considers the study and management of the trails and climbing spots in El Manzano, and aims to transform these mountains into a model of management and development of outdoor sports in Chile. As restoration works in the site are finishing, it is important to make the climbing community and visitors respect the work and to contribute with their behaviour to take care of this place. This last thing is the main goal of the project: to ensure the restoration success through the comprehension and support of the users.
The objectives are:
- Communicate about the ways climbers can have a minimal impact on the environment by means of a video presenting the opinions of the main route bolter, experts in minimal impact, stakeholders and users about the changes that this place has suffered. This video will be spread through the social networks of SinHuella and related media.
- Educate users about how to behave in this place in order to develop rock climbing in a respectful way with the environment; also about the importance of the forest, biodiversity and local communities. This will be done with the deployment of informative and interpretative signs and the diffusion through social networks and activities in which SinHuella participates.
- Receive a feedback about the work done in Los Manyos, using a poll survey targeting the main area users.
HOW DO WE CONTRIBUTE TO MOUNTAIN PROTECTION
With the aim to both improve the climbing infrastructure and outdoor sport offer in El Manzano, while sustainably manage visitors’ pressures and visitors, the project is the first step in an adaptive process orientated on the protection of the area. The project conducts restoration works of a climbing spot and aims to teach visitors sustainable behaviours and environmental knowledge about the specific conditions of Los Manyos area. It communicates on the importance of forest conservation and the main risk factors that prevent effective conservation of these places, focusing in particular on forest fire threats.
COLLABORATION WITH LOCAL COMMUNITIES
Preservation of the climbing sites in the Cajon del Maipo, which are more and more visited, bring economic benefits to the local residents. Conservation of forests and ecosystems boosts also local trade in this rural town and reduces the risk of damaging detrital flows, landslides and floods that could arise on the slopes above the houses in the town. The community is also involved in the project implementation (restauration phase and design work and preparation of educational and interpretive signs) and its promotion, by requesting their testimony about sports development in the area and its consequences over time. Collaboration with AccesoPanam and the Federación de Andinismo de Chile is foreseen.
The support of the user community, in particular members of the “Club Deportivo Escalando en Penumbra”, residents from El Manzano, climbers and a Scout group is essential. The work has been done only with volunteers, a very good way to educate and raise awareness about risks of damage climbers can do to the environment, but also to demonstrate that common actions are the key to reverse a situation and to bring about positive change. As the project continues, we welcome volunteering with our SinHuella members.