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Union of International Mountain Leader Associations

UIMLA is an international governing body based in Switzerland which is representing International Mountain Leaders (IMLs) working in mountain tourism across the world, around 5.000 professional individuals and 27 countries.

The mountain environment is our home and working place at the same time, from south of Argentina to north of Sweden, from Japan Mountains to the Andorra Pyrenees.

With the environmental issues more acute and disasters more often today, in the mountains and not only, UIMLA decided to move forward, to develop and implement a sustainability policy for trekking guiding and businesses.

Global Tourism Plastics Initiative Signatory

The Union of International Mountain Leader Associations (UIMLA) is an international governing body which is representing International Mountain Leaders across the world. With roots back in 1989 as EMLC – European Mountain Leader Commission – the UIMLA was created in 2004 in France. In 2021, UIMLA relocated to Switzerland. UIMLA aims to encourage and bring value to a sustainable development of mountainous regions.

It works towards cultural, social, and legal recognition of the International Mountain Leader (ILM) profession, harmonizing member countries’ training and assessment in terms of minimum requirements and quality, securing the rights for ILMs to work in all mountainous countries, and encouraging the formation of National Associations.

Sustainability and environmental issues are part of the IMLs training provided by UIMLA since they lead groups of tourists into sensitive and remote mountain environments, where the impact of plastic is huge. They believe that increasing the awareness of group leaders will contribute to increasing the awareness of the group and thus generating behaviour change both in the mountains and in stakeholders’ daily lives.

Commitments:

In the framework of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, UIMLA commits to:
  • Encouraging its affiliated organisations and businesses or partners to join the GTPI by promoting it within the Executive Office of UIMLA, within the Sustainability and Environment UIMLA working group, and among all UIMLA members during its general assembly and thematic workshops by November 2022.
  • Advising and guiding affiliated organisations and businesses or partners to better manage plastics in their operations through practices, criteria, standards and/or policies, and support them to implement their commitments to the GTPI by promoting it among the delegates of the national professional associations and members of the Union by 2022, by including the GTPI and its recommendations in the UIMLA sustainability policy for guiding trekking expeditions and wilderness tourism by 2023, and by integrating the GTPI and its recommendations in the International Mountain leaders training standard worldwide by 2024.
  • Communicating successes to affiliated organisations and businesses, partners, travellers, and key local stakeholders by working with each association affiliated to UIMLA to implement the GTPI Common Vision into their own national training curriculum by 2024.