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In 1906 H.R.H. Luigi Amedeo of Savoy, Duke of Abruzzi, conquered the peaks of the Rwenzori Range (on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo) achieving a great scientific expedition in an area of paramount environmental interest.
In the Centenary of such an event the University of Studies of Brescia (Italy), in collaboration with the environmental association “L’Umana Dimora” (Milan, Italy), registered at the Italian Ministry of Environment, intends to celebrate that great event by organising a new expedition on the Mountains of the Moon together with an articulate scientific and cultural action (hereinafter called the Project); the outcomes may result into bringing out the environmental features of the Rwenzori range, and in the realisation of didactical and educational tools for Ugandan students, locally spread thanks to a close collaboration with the italian NGO AVSI (International Service Volunteers’ Association) and through educational scientific initiatives also for the non-specialist public in Italy concerning the environmental peculiarities of the Rwenzori National Park, and Uganda in general.

This Project is a direct consequence of the scientific interest for the mountain territories of Central Africa and of an historical collaboration in the realisation of research projects shared by some researchers of the Department of Civil Engineering, Architecture, Land and Environment of Brescia University, together with the “Mountain Working Group” (hereby called Mountain Group), active from many years within the association “L’Umana Dimora”.

The Department has also signed with “L’Umana Dimora” a convention, because many members of the Mountain Group have already participated in international mountain expeditions and have given their technical support and collaboration in research projects at national and international level organized by the Department itself.

The original idea of the “Rwenzori 1906-2006” expedition mainly springs from the experience lived in Uganda by the co-ordinator of the Mountain Group, Mr. Gustavo Corti (physiotherapist in one important hospital in Milan – Italy), strong climber, who worked for three years within international co-operation projects for AVSI, italian ngo who has been working in Uganda for 20 years on many humanitarian projects of various nature. Between 1998 and 2001 Corti, besides living an interesting professional and human experience, could maintain his climber passion by exploring the wonderful territories of Uganda, and especially climbing, solely accompained by a local guide and a porter in July 2001, among other peaks, the Margherita Peak on Mount Stanley (m. 5125), the highest peak of the Rwenzori range, being the first non-African climber soon after the Rwenzori Park reopened following the long period of denied access for guerrilla disturbances.

Starting right from that experience, in 2005 the Mountain Group, proposing the Project to scholars of Brescia University and other Universities, has decided to organise, in the centenary of Duke of Abruzzi’s 1906 expedition, a new scientific and mountaineering expedition. A number of specialists and authorities have been contacted since then, with the aim of proposing research projects that, coordinated into a frame, will adequately celebrate such an anniversary through the repetitions of various specific climbs, along however the cultural and practical guidelines of the Duke of Abruzzi’s and other contemporary explorers, meaning with that, mountain climbing at top level, never separated however from scientific research.
The aim of such a Project is thus an up-dating of the researches carried out so far in the area, together with the production of new knowledge for the local people for a modern valorisation of that territory.

Some members of the Scientific Committee of Italian Alpine Club will participate to the Project, which has also been included in the research themes of the Club itself for 2006. The 31st of March 2006 the Italian Alpine Club has granted its general Patronage to the Project.

The Photographic shots of Vittorio Sella – Geographic Studies – Riedition of the volume of “De Filippi”

Reference: Roberto Sgrenzaroli

Research Objectives

There are many research themes, targeting different scientific fields. The purpose of the researchers is first of all to carry out research projects in strict collaboration with local researchers and operators, through a common definition of the scientific programs, and the sharing of knowledge and of possible applications these studies might have.
The co-operation themes concern therefore also the scientific works: these include didactic activities, seminars and development programs on specific themes.
The themes of the research are hereby reported; for each one, the scientific responsible is indicated. Only some of these themes will be carried out in 2006. Others require a deeper dialogue with the Ugandan researchers and organisations, in order to draw ad hoc projects for which the right financial resources could be required.

  • The main objective of the research is to show an approach to the environmental studies which start from an attention to the human being. The concern for man and for his background give birth to a passion for the environment that has to be protected, especially in delicate regions such as Rwenzori Park is, in such a way that man, and especially local people, can enjoy and use it for their own development. In other words a sustainable development, that could put together the protection of the environment with the development of local people.
  • The valorisation of the undertaking and of the scientific work of Duke of Abruzzi’s expedition, through a revisitation of its scientific and mountaineering results.
  • The reaffirmation of the interest in the elaboration of a technical and scientific support in order to achieve a modern investigation of the knowledge of Rwenzori Park territory and a contribution to the scientific and cultural development of Uganda.

Theme of the research

In 2006 the project intends to carry on an exploratory mission for planning the activities of repetition of the photographic shots made by Vittorio Sella in 1906, during the Duke of Abruzzi expedition.

The objective is to proceed in 2007 with the repetition of the shots by professional photographers, with both historic and actual cameras.

Realization of a professional documentary

Reference: Marco Preti

Theme of the research

Marco Preti will join the Rwenzori expedition the 19th of June 2006, to realize a documentary film about the field research, the environment and about the valorisation of the centenary of Rwenzori first ascent by the Duke of Abruzzi.

General patronage

Italian Alpin Club (CAI) – central office

The Italiane Alpine Club (CAI), on march 31st 2006, granted the expedition of the University of Brescia and of “L’Umana Dimora” its official patronage. Moreover 4 members of the Central Scientific Committee of CAI participate to the researches (Prof. Antonio Guerreschi, president of CSC of CAI, Prof. Claudio Smiraglia, vice president of CSC of CAI, doctor Guglielmina Diolaiuti, Prof. Giorgio Vassena).

Presidency of Lombardia Region

Alpinistic Association Giovane Montagna

ARPA Lombardia Region

Patronage requested

Reprint of Ruwenzori

Reprinting of the 1908 volume by F. De Filippi “Ruwenzori, an account of the Expedition of H.R.H. Prince Luigi Amedeo of Savoy Duke of Abruzzi”

The team of L’Umana Dimora aims to realize an anastatic reprint of the historical volume (1908) written by Filippo De Filippi, a participant to the 1906 expedition, regarding the conquest of Rwenzori by H.E. the Duke of Abruzzi. This publishing project also intends to proceed with the digitalisation and placing on this web site of the cited volume, together with its two almost unobtainable scientific enclosures.

The financial resources for these reprints have been requested to the Regione Lombardia.

Renovation of Huts

Doctor Carina Rogers provided us with a detailed project concerning the renovation of the huts situated within the Rwenzori National Park. Such a huge project can be realised only within a framework of international co-operation involving Italian organisations and donors, NGOs and, most of all through a deep collaboration with Rwenzori National Park and the Uganda Wildlife Authority offices. While in Italy some few steps to verify the possible modalities of finding the right financial resources have already been done, the June 2006 trip is mainly finalised to meet the office in charge of the Rwenzori National Park in order to draw a common project plan, where RNP and UWA will be the main protagonists and beneficiaries of such an intervention, as well as the responsible for defining its guidelines. A possible way to be verified is the involvement of some local branch of the Italian Alpine Club (CAI) or “L’Umana Dimora” association, in a sort of twinship finalised to the renovation of the huts themselves.