European Speleological CHARTA for Cave Protection 

“10 principles for cave and karst protection in Europe”

The subterranean realm is fragile, vulnerable, has a slow evolution ; hence any degradation, intervention or improper activities lead to irreversible effects. Protecting a cave means to know and to appreciate its values, and being responsible means to be aware that the cave is a natural and cultural chronicle that we must protect and preserve for future generations.

Respecting the cave environment means respecting life. A way to minimize the impact of caving could involve :

  1. Appreciating the natural beauty and the archeological and paleontological values.
  2. Not leaving anything behind, but impressions.
  3. Using environmental friendly techniques for lightening.
  4. Staying on established trails or pathways.
  5. Caving together as a trained team with sufficient knowledge.
  6. Not damaging the cave environment and minimizing the risk of cave accidents.
  7. Working with gear that minimizes the effects on the subterranean environment.
  8. Using pathways on durable surface, to minimize impacts, while we are in the cave exploring and surveying.
  9. Leaving the minimum possible impact on the karst and other landforms that shelter the cave.
  10. Becoming educators and promoters of cave and karst protection and conservation.