|NEWS RELEASEFinal call to submit projects for US$5,000 UIAA Mountain Protection Award13 July 2015 – BERN, Switzerland: The deadline to submit an application for the UIAA Mountain Protection Award which includes a cash prize of US$5,000 is 31 July 2015.
“Whether you are a winner or a nominee, the UIAA Mountain Protection Award is a unique opportunity to showcase environmentally sustainable initiatives and projects in the mountains by associations and travel agencies from around the world,” said Valérie Thöni, UIAA project officer.
“The tireless work done by groups and companies, both big and small, around the world to protect our fragile mountain environment needs to be recognized,” said Thöni, “and the Award does just that.”
UIAA President Frits Vrijlandt speaks out about the need to protect the mountain environment and the role of the UIAA Mountain Protection Award (Click for video)
An example of a nominee for the 2015 award is the work done to prevent the desertification of the environmentally sensitive and remote mountainous Paso Grande region in the province of San Luis, Argentina.
The Paso Grande pilot project is one of 17 sites in a network of assessment and monitoring of the National Observatory of Land Degradation and Desertification. Through crowdfunding initiatives, sustainable land management practices are being implemented in the region.
The projects also aim to promote capacity building in the local community, where infrastructure to accommodate tourists is lacking, so that they can take advantage of the benefits offered by the natural landscape for rural tourism.
A project to prevent the desertification of the Paso Grande region of Argentina is a nominee for the 2015 UIAA Mountain Protection Award
Another initiative to be nominated is the Khaptad National Park (KNP) situated in far western edge of Nepal.
The non-profit organization Tourism Development Society (T.D.S.) aims to protect the natural and cultural heritage of the park by mobilizing local resources to provide services develop sustainable tourism in the Khaptad National Park for enhancing economic opportunities for local people, preserving the environment and culture.
The UIAA Mountain Protection Award supports community-based tourism that simultaneously contributes to the conservation of ecosystems and sustainable livelihoods for local people. Projects submitted should involve environmental concerns and activities linked with energy efficiency, conservation initiatives, waste management, community activities and water conservation.
Now in its third year, the award is sponsored by Western University and Golden Rock Travel of Azerbaijan.
Winners are chosen every October by the Assessment and Award Team which coordinates the review and approval/denial of applications of mountain protection initiatives. The Team is composed of internationally recognized experts who are specialists and academics in environment/mountain protection issues, as well as expert members from the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission.
For more information please contact Valérie Thöni or visit the Award website for details on how to submit a nomination.
Deadline: 31 July 2015