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The Access PanAm initiative supported by the Petzl Foundation
Armando Menocal is behind the Access PanAm initiative, a project that brings together climbers, climbing organizations, clubs, federations and various other not-for-profit institutions around a shared desire to preserve access to the climbing sites of the western hemisphere.
“Access PanAm is working on a project that corresponds to our desire to protect climbing sites. The aim is that all those who love nature will thus be able continue to enjoy these sites, while ensuring strict compliance with environment preservation rules” explains Paul Petzl.
This project, in development since 2008, received a $10,000 grant this year from the Petzl Foundation. This grant will partly fund the first Access PanAm meeting on August 12-16th in Canada, as part of the Squamish Mountain Festival. This meeting will be an ideal opportunity to unite the efforts of activists, leaders in the field of access, influential decision-makers and land development managers from countries across South America.
Various associations, including Access Fund, American Alpine Club and Access Society based in British Columbia, have already confirmed their participation. The meeting should also attract volunteers workers from Central America, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela and the USA.
Various themes will be discussed: a site access appraisal, study of the climbing environment across the American continent, creation of a network or a central organization to support access, definition of a consensus and a roadmap.
“Access PanAm’s actions are already paying off, ensuring the freedom of climbing and protecting sensitive environments” declares Armando Menocal. This meeting, and all other subsequent actions, should accelerate the protection process for the areas in question.
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