2023 MPA Nominee –
Sustainable Mountaineering for Uludağ
Creating a culture of environmental protection among climbers
Sustainable mountaineering for Uludağ aims to provide sustainable manners for hikers/trekkers during mountaineering, hiking and trekking activities in this region of Türkiye and extend this spirit and mindset into urban life at national and international levels.
By integrating sustainability into mountaineering and outdoor sports, the project aims to create a culture of environmental protection among climbers. It provides mountaineers with opportunities to participate in sustainable activities, promote responsible climbing practices, and highlight the importance of protecting mountain ecosystems.
View of UIAA MPA Assessor
The project aims to provide sustainable manners for hikers/trekkers and spread this spirit and mindset among community, including urban dwellers and students. The strength of NOKTA Mountaineering Sport Club lies on its outstanding contribution towards sustainable mountaineering and living among community, by encouraging hikers/trekkers, students etc. to adopt sustainable lifestyles, products and practices beyond their time in the mountains.
Vision, goals and aim of the project:
More details on the project + project status as per May 2023
A project started in 2021 and following through until 2024, Sustainable mountaineering for Uludağ aims to provide sustainable manners for hikers/trekkers during mountaineering, hiking and trekking activities and extending this spirit and mindset into urban life at national and international levels. The project is part of this larger initiative and aims to expand sustainable training for community, school and universities students. This is proposed to commence from December 2023 to 2024.
The project aims to provide mountaineers with opportunities to participate in sustainable activities, promote responsible climbing practices, and highlight the importance of protecting mountain ecosystems. By integrating sustainability into mountaineering and outdoor sports, the project aims to create a culture of environmental protection among climbers. The final target of this project is to expand these sustainable manners in sport activities through community daily life. Because every decision and activity in daily life has an impact on the environment.
Uludağ is a unique and spectacular mountain at 2543 meters, known for its natural beauty, ecological value, and recreational opportunities in Bursa city. Uludağ mountain is a significant natural resource for Bursa, Türkiye in terms of water source, forest, flora, and biodiversity. Uludağ also plays a critical role in Bursa’s water supply. Protecting and conserving the mountain’s forest, flora, and biodiversity is critical to ensuring its continued contribution to quality of life in Bursa.
However, Uludağ is facing a devastating consequences of climate change like many other natural resources. NOKTA Mountaineering Sports Club (further referred to as NOKTA), a member of the Turkish Mountaineering Federation, organizes monthly mountaineering, hiking and trekking activities in Uludağ. Club members have and continue to witness how climate change damages nature, water sources and biodiversity in Uludağ. Witnessing this change in nature, NOKTA decided to take action. On International Mountain Day 2021, NOKTA launched the initiative ‘Zero Waste Peak for Sustainable Uludağ’ with support of the Turkish Mountaineering Federation and Bursa Metropolitan Municipality.
During online sessions with participants, two key messages continue to be highlighted, namely that mountaineers have always been sensitive to the environment and never did leave behind waste during mountain activities, and instead took it home. Often, this waste that didn’t end up in nature ended up in the garbage in cities and ultimately got burnt, if not recycled. Secondly, and this is where NOKTA decided to intervene and adopt waste free mountaineering activities which prevent waste from the get-go. Consequently, the transformation for sustainable life starts in the mountains and spreads thorough community.
NOKTA has applied for the UIAA Mountain Protection Award in 2022, with the above mentioned project ‘Sustainable Mountaineering with Zero Waste’. Using the evaluator’s feedback to propose a more holistic approach and structured time plan, NOKTA have been continuing to implement the project with local partner with continuous events.
Since the last MPA edition, NOKTA executed ‘Zero Waste Peak’ on International Mountain Day 2022, followed up by four additional sustainable sport activities events. 500 hikers/trekkers attended these five events and were given detailed messages about how to perform their mountaineering, trekking and hiking activity in a most sustainable way.
The objective of this larger project now is to expand sustainable trainings not only in mountains, but also for the community in city. NOKTA aims to organise sustainable seminars at schools and universities to reach 300 students once a month until the end of 2024. Moreover, NOKTA will be dedicated to measure its carbon footprint of its mountaineering, hiking and trekking activities and announce it transparently on the website and social media in order to raise awareness for other clubs.
Besides these goals, NOKTA will carry out waste free peak for Uludağ on International Mountain Day in 2023 and 2024, by promoting UIAA support and inviting the UIAA community to join in.
Turkish Mountaineering Federation
Please note that the content published in this article is courtesy of the Award nominee. The UIAA has made minor revisions to the original submission. To discover more about the UIAA Mountain Protection Award please click here.