Cologne: Reinhold Messner honored in Cologne for his life’s work

The extreme mountaineer Reinhold Messner (77) was honored with the “Global Campact Award” endowed with 25,000 euros in Gürzenich in Cologne. The 77-year-old South Tyrolean receives the sustainability award from the TÜV Rheinland Foundation for his life’s work. The former extreme mountaineer and adventurer embodies “the reverence for creation” and is a role model in his consistent commitment to sustainable use of the natural spaces and mountain peoples of this earth, “said Dieter Spath, Chairman of the TÜV Rheinland Foundation, explaining the jury’s decision.

Prize winner Reinhold Messner

Through his life’s work, he makes an important contribution to “protecting our planet in the human task of protecting our planet”. Laudator Jürgen Zech, former CEO of the Gerling Group, paid tribute to Messner’s commitment to preserving the habitats of people in the mountains of the world.

Messner accepted the award at a ceremony with 250 invited guests in the presence of Mayor Henriette Reker. The upper citizen described the mountaineer as a “charismatic mediator between man and nature”. He does not seek his happiness in consumption, but in doing without, which he learned on the mountain. “You are a role model for me and the younger generation.”

Messer wants to continue its commitment

Messner, who describes himself as a “conqueror of the useless”, thanked him for the award, which encouraged him to continue his commitment to a life of people in harmony with nature. Sustainability “connects the environment, social aspects and economic issues with one another,” said the alpinist. Implementing this is a global challenge.

Messner emphasized how important it is especially today to have a living experience of nature that teaches humility: “We really have to measure the mountains with our legs, also experience exhaustion, doubts and fears. We humans are defective beings and we only experience that in the Nature.” For him, one of the keys to dealing with climate change is, in addition to technology, above all renunciation: “Only if we learn to do without what we do not need and to use what we need again and again will we perhaps be able to do it.” Sustainability means using everything again. The key to happiness is not consumption, considerations of utility and the hope for tomorrow, he told his listeners on the way. Happiness and a successful life can be found where “we are completely absorbed in one thing in the here and now.” There we experience meaning.

On foot through the Arctic

Messner is one of the most famous mountaineers in the world and a passionate adventurer. In addition to all 14 eight-thousanders, he crossed the Antarctic, the Gobi Desert and Greenland on foot. With his “Messner Mountain Foundation” he has set himself the goal of protecting mountain tribes. With the “Messner Mountain Heritage” museum chain, he strives to reconcile mountain worlds as a living space for people with the natural environment of the mountains.

Messer is already the fifth winner of the International TÜV Rheinland Global Compact Award. Every three years, the TÜV Rheinland Foundation honors personalities who work for sustainability and environmental responsibility in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Global Compact. Most recently, in 2017, Auma Obama, the sister of the former US President, was honored for her services to disadvantaged children and young people in Africa.

Source: Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger – Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger by

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