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