Capacitación Report

Access and Stewardship Grassroots Activists Workshop
Taller de Capacitación en Acceso y Conservación de Montañas
Curso de Capacitação em Acesso e Conservação de Montanhas


Participants at Capacitación


The Access and Stewardship Grassroots Activists Workshop took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from April 23rd-25th 2012. 30 people attended the program: 16 Brazilians and 14 foreigners from Latin America and US. It was part of the Brazilian Mountain Week.

The program aimed at empowering local activists to fight on their own for preservation and access to climbing areas. The workshops focused on the critical questions for local climber-activists facing environmental challenges and the skills that will last beyond the immediate threat: how create or improve a local climbers conservation organization, conserve the climbing environment, and promote responsible climbing. The themes included: analyzing appropriate strategies, evaluating the formation of a local organization, and formulating political strategies.

From the evaluation received, the program was very successful. May the knowledge shared during these days in Rio

The Workshop



The Workshop by Dates

Armando Menocal, APA's President

• April 23rd– On a quick welcome note, Kika Bradford, Acceso PanAm’s ED talked about the creation of Acceso PanAm and the power that one person can have when working with passion and motivation. Armando Menocal, Acceso PanAm’s President, extended the welcome note also thanking everyone for being there. Kika, then, led a hands-on workshop about the first-step to create a Local Access Organization, including writing a mission statement. Cristina Leão presented the basis for a successful negotiation and an interactive workshop where the participants had to negotiate the access to a given climbing area. Delson de Queiroz talked about a Climbing Management Plan and the challenges of creating a more liberal culture of visitation in Public Areas. The case studies session included the following presentations:

  • The process to open Lapinha, a sport climbing area that was closed for 9 years in Minas Gerais (Luis Lugoma de Oliveira)
  • Christian Moscovo talked about the challenges faced by Acceso Sur, in Chile, including a negotiation with a mining company, stewardship programs and community involvement and awareness.
  • Dalton Chiarelli and Rosangela Gelly presented an access action in the 90s, where climbers from all over Brazil joined forces to save a local climbing area around Cipó National Park: the Morro da Pedreira. It was threatened by a mining company and climbers managed to preserve it. Possibly, it is today the most popular sport climbing area in Brazil.

Delson de Queiroz, FEMERJ, talking about Climbing Management

• April 24th: The day started with Kika Bradford talking about communication, the elevator speech and the importance of building relationships. The participants were asked to create an elevator speech as a hands-on workshop. Gustavo Pedro followed with a discussion about lobbying and case studies. The third presenter, Delson de Queiroz, talked about appropriate management methods and actions for the mountain environment. He emphasized trail maintenance as well as some climbing-related management aspects. He also briefly presented two methods for visitor impact planning: LAC and VERP. Lucas Figueira presented the Google Maps he created for a visual presentation of the access issues at Acesso às Montanhas and demonstrated how to create one. Brady Robinson, then, showed a movie created with Google Earth and how the Access Fund used this tool to raise money for a campaign. After that, Brady ended the day with a presentation about the Access Fund.

Hands-On Workshop

• April 25th: Brady Robinson started the day with a presentation and a hands-on workshop about fundraising. He highlighted the need for building and fostering relationships and being spontaneous. Following this interactive workshop, Armando Menocal talked about how to work with business, pointing out who the industry, while Max Meza discussed the relationship between climbers and the industry from an industry point of view (Max works for The North Face). On a panel about community involvement, Sérgio Poyares presented a tool to involve the community in the decision-making process about zoning and closures – The Minimum Impact Seminars promoted by the Rio de Janeiro State Environmental Agency INEA. Jim Donini shared his experience as the President of the American Alpine Club and stewardship programs in Indian Creek (UT) and Yosemite Face Lift. The case studies session included:

  • Mandatory guides and a bureaucratic permit process at Huascarán National Park (Sergio Carrascal)
  • Private land owner negotiation and a climbing event in Colombia (Juan Carlos and Juan José)
  • A mining environmental threat at Diablo Mudo, Peru (Carlos Rodrigues)
  • Some issues faced by Acceso Argentina (Esteban Degregori and Agustin Sisamon)


The Program in a Quick Look

  • Participants – 30 climbing Latin American access activists
  • Brazilians: 16
  • Chileans: 3
  • Argentineans: 4
  • Peruvians: 2
  • Colombians: 2
  • Cuban: 1
  • Americans: 2
  • Dates: April 23rd to 25th 2012
  • Hours: 12:00hs – 18:00hs (12 PM – 6 PM)
  • Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Presentations: 10
  • Themes: access negotiation, how to form a local organization, climbing management, lobbying, communication, fundraising, how to work with businesses, etc. (see appendix 1 for program content and presenters list)
  • Case-Studies: 7
  • Organization: Acceso PanAm
  • Organization of Brazilian Mountain Week: CBME and FEMERJ
  • Funds: This workshop was possible due to the grants received from the Petzl Foundation and Patagonia. Mountain Gear donated part of funds needed to bring Brady Robinson to the workshop.


Brady Robinson, Access Fund ED

Jim Donini sharing his stweardship experience