The main mission of the Foundation is the preservation of mountains and their environment.
The Foundation will have three lines of work to preserve the mountains: direct actions, raise awareness and fund research
For the first project, the Foundation partners with the World Glacier Monitoring Service from the Zürich University in order to help on the study and investigation of the retreat of glaciers
“I have been taught since I was a kid about the need to protect the environment, and I have done as much as I could,” Jornet said. “Now, I want to take it a step further and help projects, organizations and individuals that dedicate themselves to preserving the planet. The planet needs all the help we can give to it.”, said Kilian Jornet
The Kilian Jornet Foundation has just been launched with the main mission to preserve mountains and their environment. Mountain athlete Kilian Jornet will be the visible face of this foundation that wants to work in direct actions, research and raising awareness about the need to preserve our planet.
“I have been taught since I was a kid about the need to protect the environment, and I have done as much as it was in my hand. Now, I want to take a step further and help projects, organizations and individuals that dedicate themselves to preserving the planet. The planet needs all the help we can give to it” said Kilian Jornet.
Mountains have played an essential role in Kilian Jornet’s athletic and personal growth, which is why their preservation has become both a passion and a priority: “I’ve been climbing mountains and crossing glaciers my whole life, and I have observed how the effects of climate change have been devastating. We all have a role in reversing this tendency and ensuring that the next generations are able to not only to play in the mountains, but to live on a healthy planet. High mountains and glaciers are an essential part of the planet life, from the water cycle to the biodiversity. My foundation is aiming to work for the protection of these regions and the role they play in the health of the planet.”
Mountains matter and we need to protect them
In our global system, mountains play a key role: without them and their environment there would be no life, and that is why it is essential to conserve and manage them sustainably. Mountain environments cover 25 percent of the Earth’s surface, and all of the planet’s inhabitants depend on them directly or indirectly in a variety of ways, most notably for fresh water and natural resources.
Nowadays many of those mountain environments are endangered by climate change, as the shifts the planet is undergoing directly affect mountain settings, but also all those who depend on them: fauna, flora and humans.
“The Kilian Jornet Foundation is born to reach goals that individually we’re not able to achieve, to share knowledge and skills for the common goal of preserving the mountain environment and fight what endangers it,” says Pau Ylla, Director of the Foundation. “This protection will help us increase their inhabitants’ recovery capacity as well as the main resources mountains provide: food, water or the conservation of biodiversity. Climate and other changes need to be addressed comprehensively and it is essential to gather data and raise awareness of the importance of small actions for the change of the global system affecting mountains.”
Three points of action
The Foundation will work in three main areas to help preserve mountain environments:
- Direct actions: Creating or financing projects aimed at solving environmental problems in the mountains, such as clean-up in polluted areas or the installation of sustainable infrastructures to reduce human impact
- Raise awareness and educate: Through its own communication channels and external ones, the Foundation will work to raise awareness for the importance of preserving the environment, using education to establish a better relationship between humans and mountains
- Research: By investing in studies and monitoring services to better understand the effects of climate change on mountain environments and establish the best possible tools to address them
The first project of the Kilian Jornet Foundation
The Kilian Jornet Foundation wants to focus its first project on the study and investigation of one of the most visible climate change phenomena: the retreat of glaciers. Studying this retreat is key to developing projects to conserve these ice masses that hold between 60 and 80% of the planet’s freshwater.
To do this, the Kilian Jornet Foundation is partnering with the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) of the University of Zurich in Switzerland. For more than 125 years, this program has been gathering standardized observations of changes in glaciers, as well as information about their fluctuation.
The funds collected will go to different initiatives promoted by the World Glacier Monitoring Service, from measuring devices and equipment for researchers to education programs for schools, among others.
Take action: everybody is part of the solution
As Kilian Jornet explained: “Protecting the mountains is something that we can all do. From very little things such as picking up your trash when you go to the mountains to bigger advocate actions, we can all be part of this collective solution”.
Kilian Jornet has gathered some tips for anybody that wishes to take action in protecting the mountains.