Reinhold Messner publishes a new book entitled “Save the Mountains”, in which he draws attention to the increasing destruction of the mountains.
When the romantics discovered the beauty of the mountains, nobody could have guessed that this would be the beginning of alpine mass tourism. Today entire mountain regions are a single playground with bare slopes. Bikers, climbers, trekkers and winter sports enthusiasts expect perfect - and safe - pleasure. But the grandeur of nature is increasingly trivialized.
Everyone knows the pictures of the "traffic jam on Everest": Due to the ever-expanding infrastructure on the highest mountain in the world there, the wild nature as well as the sublime feeling of mountaineering degenerate.
But by far not only in the distance of the Himalayas, also with us, the advancing mass tourism displaces all, what our mountains once stood for: wilderness, adventure and respect.
Just before his 75. Birthday Reinhold Messner wants to shake us awake and delivers a haunting appeal "Save the mountains". For decades, he has experienced the change of the former cultural landscape to "Action and Adventure Parks" in the well-known mountain regions. Like no other Messner knows the mountains of the world and is committed to the protection of the wilderness. In a pointed, opinionated way he shows that we all bear the responsibility for the continuation of this primeval landscape: Because exactly what we supposedly seek in the mountains, we destroy it actively.
Reinhold Messner's values chart for the mountains
Ten suggestions from Reinhold Messner to create conditions that make all mountain areas truly meaningful:
1. Mountain areas are everywhere defined as the sum of small-scale cultural landscape - designed and maintained for millennia by human hands - and by elevated high mountain landscape.
2. Well-tended cultural landscape in the mountain areas benefits everyone: is it all about environmental protection, recreational space and the production of high-quality food?
3. The cultivation indispensable for the cultivation of the cultural landscape requires a responsible population. Only when she is doing business does she stay on the mountain.
4. By contrast, the high mountain regions - which have only been used as tourists for modern development - contain values such as vastness, silence and sublimity as well as danger that should not be eradicated.
5. These natural landscapes are dwindling and thus to be protected. The high mountain world as experience space must remain unchanged, a development stop is therefore obligatory. Existing construction remains, as often many jobs depend on it.
6. A further advance into the high mountain regions should not be facilitated by cable cars, roads and modern technology. Those who venture into the high mountains in their own responsibility and without leaving any trace learn to defend this nature and defend it for further generations.
7. Only a decentralized sustainable use of the cultural landscapes secures the basis for the stay of young generations, possible recovery and at the same time nature experience. Transit routes must be designed in such a way that environmental pollution of all kinds remains minimal.
8. The integration of cultivated landscape and an infrastructure-free natural landscape is the key to protecting the mountain areas. Together, mountain agriculture and tourism provide sustainable development.
9. Only regional cultural heritage, an intact cultural landscape and the unique mountain landscape beyond guarantee sustainability and the self-image of the mountain population.
10. Mountainous regions and conurbations need each other. A spatially balanced settlement and economic structure requires the consideration of the periphery by politics. It would be negative if mountain areas continue to depopulate and urban areas grow.
About the alpinist Reinhold Messner
Reinhold Messner is the most famous mountaineer and adventurer of our time. As a climber, cross-border commuter and "philosopher in action", he has set new standards time and again: He was the first person to climb all 14 eight-thousander and crossed the Antarctic on foot together with Arved Fuchs. Today he fights for an ecologically sustainable approach to nature, manages mountain farms and designs the Messner Mountain Museum at six locations. In addition, he now devotes himself to the mountain film as a writer, director and producer. On the 17. September he celebrates his 75. Birthday.
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Credits: Picture and text zVg