This weekend the MCC were given the opportunity to deliver a presentation to the Access and Conservation commission of the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) focusing specifically on Access and Conservation issues experienced by climbers in Malta. The UIAA just concluded a series of meetings in Malta as part of the UIAA Spring Meeting sessions which included meetings of the UIAA Executive Board, Management Committee and the Ice-Climbing, Access & Conservation and Safety Commissions.
The meetings, which were hosted by the MCC, were held at the Paradise Bay Hotel from the 3rd of May to the 7th of May. They have come about as a direct result of the Malta Climbing Club’s full membership of the UIAA since 2017.
The club, represented by Simon Alden, raised awareness of a number of issues that the climbing community and the general public at large face when enjoying the Maltese countryside. These issues include problems with access, a general lack of respect for nature and the environment, conservation of delicate flora and fauna as well as issues relating to the shared use of natural spaces by people with different pastimes and interests. MCC are proposing to produce a code of practise in Malta to guide climbers to reduce any impact on the seacliff and valley environments were most climbing routes are found. Simon’s presentation was delivered from a climbers’ perspective, providing information based on experiences of club members while also highlighting specific issues relating to various climbing areas in the Maltese Islands. He was assisted in preparing the presentation by club member Peri Bowser, who is an environmental scientist by profession.
After the presentation a number of delegates from the UIAA were accompanied to Gozo where they experienced rock climbing at one of the island’s oldest sport climbing venues – the picturesque valley of Mġarr ix-Xini.