Nine events, eight countries, one goal: Keeping Our Mountains Clean

Posted by Catherine Flitcroft on 04/05/2016
Respect the Mountains and keep them clean. Photo: Shutterstock / kovop58
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From the lush green valleys of North Wales to the alluring and imposing might of Mount Kazbek, the UIAA Respect the Mountains Series, supported by KEEN, encompasses some of Europe’s most loved outdoor regions; areas which welcome in excess of 100 million visitors each year and are consequently subject to a considerable environmental footprint.

Over the three month summer series, hundreds of outdoor and nature lovers around Europe will come together to promote sustainable environmental practices and celebrate the beauty of mountain regions by taking part in dedicated waste clean-up operations. Nine events are scheduled to take place in eight European countries, and we've got one at home too, in North Wales on 26 June 2016, organised in conjunction with RAW Adventures and the BMC.

The UIAA (International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation) inherited the Respect the Mountains campaign in the autumn of 2015, bolstering the federation’s commitment to mountain protection.

“Adding Respect the Mountains to our range of activities is a significant step,” explained UIAA President Frits Vrijlandt. “We are delighted with the programme which has been put in place for 2016 and very thankful for the support of our member federations and our project partner KEEN.”

During this summer’s series the UIAA and KEEN will promote the ‘Seven Ways to Respect the Mountains’. These are: book smart, travel wise, support sustainable practices, be a respectful mountain tourist, leave no trace, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle & Upcycle (RRRU), and spread the word. At each event, one of these rules will form part of the core message.

The events themselves are ‘grass roots’ projects bringing together local sport enthusiasts, mountain visitors, tourists and outdoor sport companies. They comprise a fun one-day experience consisting of a morning clean-up action, followed by lunch and outdoor sport activities in the afternoon. Prizes will be awarded by KEEN for volunteers who collect the most, and most unusual, piece of waste.

While the 2016 series will take place in Europe, the UIAA, with the support of KEEN, plans on working with its national member federations to create a global series of events in 2017. Future plans also extend to winter programmes focused on education and mountain protection.

2016 Event Calendar & Registration

The 2016 series commences in Spain and finishes in Romania, while comprising events in Wales, Italy, Germany, Austria, France (twice) and Russia. 

Close to home is the event in North Wales on 26 June 2016, organised in conjunction with RAW Adventures and the BMC.

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