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In 2010, the Sustainable Summits conference was launched by the American Alpine Club with the primary goal of sharing solutions for managing human waste in the high mountain peaks around the world. At the Golden, Colorado conference in 2014, and again in 2016 at Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand, the scope was broadened to include the impacts of climate change and access issues on the high mountains. These conferences have drawn representation from every continent.
In 2018, for three days, land managers, researchers, representatives from NGOs and non-profit organizations, outdoor companies, guides and mountaineers from around the world will join together in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. They will share their knowledge and experience and propose solutions for the future of our high mountains, focusing on the following three themes:
Tuesday 12 June
> What roles do the high mountains play in today's societies?
Rugged mountains are among the last areas on the planet where we can experience “otherness” -- those rare places that fascinate and transform us, opening new horizons and perspectives. Questions the conference will address include: How useful or transformative are the mountains, socially speaking? How can we ensure respect and the rights of local populations? Where is the middle ground between strict regulation and open access, between public enjoyment and conscientious management?
Wednesday 13 June
> Climate change: the high mountains on the front line
Shrinking glaciers, melting permafrost, increasing rockfall, changing snowfall patterns, altered biodiversity: the high mountains are at the forefront of climate change. How can we adapt? Will climate change drastically affect climbing and skiing? How should we limit the carbon footprint of our mountain activities?
Thursday 14 June
> Human activities in the high mountains: impacts and solutions
An ever-growing number of visitors to the most famous summits poses a threat to their environment while also damaging the experience of being there.
Many solutions have been tried worldwide; this conference aims to share this knowledge for everyone’s benefit. For example, how can we manage human waste at high altitude where decomposition is slow? To what extent should infrastructure be built for managing waste? How can we reduce accidents on popular summits? Can responsible behavior minimize human impact?
Download presentation file of the Sustainable Summits Conference 2018 >> HERE
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