The International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations (IFMGA) is an international umbrella for mountain guide associations from 25 countries in Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Oceania, representing a total of almost 7,000 guides who are licensed according to IFMGA training standards.

As mountain guides, we are exposed to rapid and unprecedented changes in our mountain work environment due to the impact of climate change.  The speed and change of intensity of earth systems events presents unprecedented risk mitigation challenges requiring rapid strategies and adaptations to reduce our vulnerabilities.  This is true not only for mountain guides but for the lives and livelihoods of all inhabitants of mountain regions.

It is our responsibility to act immediately and collectively, not only to limit climate change in the coming decades, but also in the face of many other environmental crises that are equally immediate and urgent, including habitat degradation and biodiversity loss. Young guides have a central role in developing new ways of thinking about sustainable mountain guiding, creating new practices and building strategies to safeguard our clients and ourselves. 

IFMGA will collaborate with partners including the Mountain Partnership Secretariat on a definition and methods for Sustainable Mountain Guiding (SMG) and develop implementation documents, resources and training for mountain guides.  

Sustainable mountain guiding is grounded in UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the UN resolution on Sustainable Mountain Development. SMG maintains the traditional values of the profession but will ensure the profession grows and is prepared to meet the challenges of a complex and changing world. SMG would be implemented through IFMGA professional standards of practice, the training of mountain guides, as well as standards for the professional practice and behavior of mountain guides.