03 July 2023

10 days left to save the EU Nature Restoration Law

Please find an urgent call initiated by Birdlife Europe but in representation of more than 200 organisations.

10 days are left to trigger all National decision makers to vote for the “Restoration Law” in Europe.

The European Cave Protection Commission is listed among the 200 subscribers for this call. Please make one further step and make a personal call to your decision makers in your own country to vote for this law. It takes one minute only but can make a change for life on our planet, also in our beloved caves, in karstic areas, for groundwater and for soil.


29 May 2023

Online Seminar on the Protection of Gypsum Karst

We would like to invite you to an online seminar on the protection of gypsum karst on June 1st in English language.

It is organised by the German Speleological Federation VdHK in cooperation with IUCN/WCPA GSG Cave & Karst Working Group and will be streamed live at the VdHK YouTube channel.


The program may be found here

The Online Seminar is part of a VdHK Symposium on Natura 2000 and nature protection in gypsum karst from 1.-4. June in Walkenried South Harz.

The ECPC will have a slot for a presentation on Thursday afternoon.

26 May 2023

New commission members for the next 4 years

Following the FSE GAM in Breitscheid, Germany on May 20th, the team of the European Cave Protection Commission now starts its work for the next 4 years.
17 members from 12 countries form the new commission and their ambitions are enormous as the protection of caves and karst play more and more an important role in Europe and elsewhere.

Please find the composition of the commission at our website:


12 May 2023

Winner of the EuroSpeleo Protection Label 2023

The European Cave Protection Commission (ECPC) of the European Speleological Federation (FSE), is pleased to announce that following the evaluation of the applications received, the EuroSpeleo Protection Label 2023 has been attributed to the Cork Speleological Group (CSG) from Ireland for their Project: Digging into the Past: Preserving Irelands Cultural Heritage through Cave Exploration.

The prize is endowed by €800.- and gear from the FSE sponsor “Aventure Verticale“.

14 April 2023

EuroSpeleo Protection Label 2023 – Reminder

This is a reminder for the EuroSpeleo Protection Label. The deadline is in 2 weeeks on April 30th !

Please refer to the ESPL- Guidelines and Application Form published on the FSE site at:

The ECPC Team

8 February 2023

Call for new ECPC commission members

The team of the European Cave Protection Commission is inviting every caver with cave and karst protection and conservation ambitions, to join the commission to help pushing forward the cave and karst protection goals of the FSE in Europe. The new commission will start its work after the FSE GAM in May this year and the duration of the mandate is 4 years, from 2023-2027.

The call may be found here in English and also in French.

In case of further questions, we invite you to get in contact with the commission at the address: protection@eurospeleo.eu

The ECPC Team

31 January 2023

Donations invested in a Serbian project

During the year 2022 the European Cave Protection Commission has got some funds as donations.
At the end of the year we decided to double this amount from our regular ECPC budget and invest all in a cave clean-up project “Clean Underground – Serbia”.
Here is the FB page of the project: https://www.facebook.com/cisto.podzemlje.srbija/
A summary of the project may be found here: Clean-Underground_Serbia

With this information we would like to thank all donators from 2022 which trusted in our work and would like to encourage all interested donators to trust in our work as well and help us save the caves in Europe and abroad.

The ECPC team

31 January 2023

European and International Cave politics

The European Environmental Bureau, EEB (www.eeb.org), is Europe’s largest network of environmental citizens’ organisations. EEB brings together 180 member organisations from 38 countries and stands for sustainable development, environmental justice & participatory democracy.

As a full member of EEB since 2011, FSE as network organisation has the right to sent interested people as member into one or more working groups. (https://eeb.org/membership/our-working-groups/)
A working group gathers interested people from concerned member-organisations.
The WGs which are specially interesting for the caving environment are:
Biodiversity, Water, Soil, International Environmental Governance

One of the tasks of the European Cave Protection Commission is to represent the FSE at the EEB and we would be glad if interested persons could join us with expertise and engagement in a working group of your interest.

Please get in contact with the commission for further questions and interest. We would be glad to welcome and guide you in this major role.

The Information with descriptions of the working groups may be found here: European and International Cave politics

Thank you,
The ECPC team

30 January 2023

UN 2023 Water Conference in New York

WATER is a fundamental part of all aspects of life. Water is inextricably linked to the three pillars of sustainable development, and it integrates social, cultural, economic and political values. It is crosscutting and supports the achievement of many SDGs through close linkages with climate, energy, cities, the environment, food security, poverty, gender equality and health, amongst others. With climate change profoundly affecting our economies, societies and environment, water is indeed the biggest deal breaker to achieve the internationally agreed water-related goals and targets, including those contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable
(Text source UN website: https://sdgs.un.org/conferences/water2023)

The registration for the UN 2023 Water Conference in New York 22-24 March is still open until 10th February. Online participation is possible. Registration is possible trough our FSE member VdHK (German Speleological Federation) and you need a confirmation letter from them. (vorsitz@vdhk.de)

In case that your organisation is already ECOSOC accredited you may register yourself directly. (Each ECOSOC accredited NGO like VdHK can register up to 10 participants.)

Link to the Forum >> https://sdgs.un.org/conferences/water2023

Please share this information to interested speleologists.

The ECPC team

04 January 2023

Protection of Caves and Karst – the best wishes from the ECPC

The European Cave Protection Commission would like to wish you all the best for the year 2023, plenty of successful excursions without harm either to yourself, your team nor to the habitat including all its life forms. May you have great meetings, conferences and get togethers around this topic.

We also would like to express our wishes that all caves and karst will get more attention from the political world and that all people will respect this environment beside all other nature as an important heritage, care for this geotope and its biotope and treat it with respect.

Together with these wishes we also would like to take the opportunity to welcome all those who have registered to our newsletter in the last couple of month.

If there is anything you would like to tell us, don’t hesitate and get in contact with the commission.

As a recent addition to our website you will find the Report summaries of the past 5 ESPL (EuroSpeleo Protection Label) on the dedicated page by clicking on the project title. https://www.eurospeleo.eu/ECPC/espl/

In case anyone would like to make a donation towards the ESPL, you will find our bank details at the donation/links page. Don’t be shy, invest NOW or later. https://www.eurospeleo.eu/ECPC/link-page/

By the end of the year, all donations are given to cave or karst protection projects in Europe.

The ECPC team

14 November 2022

EuroSpeleo Protection Label 2023 – Call for Cave Protection Projects

It is with great pleasure that the FSE announces the next call for Cave Protection projects to receive the Label “EuroSpeleo Protection 2023” from the ECPC (the European Cave Protection Commission of the FSE).

The EuroSpeleo Protection Label is a European Speleological award managed by the ECPC, financed by the FSE budget. The EuroSpeleo Protection Label will help to promote amongst the speleological clubs of Europe, Cave Protection activities that are designed in an integrated ecological way, taking into account EU environmental directives, the principles of administration of the Natura 2000 sites and the IUCN Guidelines on caves and karst protection.

With what kind of projects can you apply?

The EuroSpeleo Protection Label will be awarded every year to one unique Cave Protection project. A European speleological jury established by the ECPC Board will make the selection. Any project aiming at protecting caves developed by a club, a local committee or a national commission from a member country of the FSE can apply.

What are the criteria to receive the FSE EuroSpeleo Protection Label and what is the prize?

There is no need for participation of cavers from different countries, but the application should be a quality project and the broadcasting of the project presentation and results should be made in a spirit that can be reproduced in other European regions and countries. The application should be sent to protection@eurospeleo.org before 30th of April 2023, in English language.

The project must receive the approval from its national speleological organization, i.e. a letter of support from its national organisation, member of the FSE.

The reward for the label 2023 is 800.- EUR plus one caving gear from our FSE-sponsor
Aventure Verticale.

Please refer to the ESPL- Guidelines and Application Form published on the FSE site at:

Best Speleo Wishes, The ECPC team

3 November 2022

Seeking for contact with National Commissions

The European Cave Protection Commission would like to get in contact with all National commissions and working groups that work on the protection or conservation on caves and karst.

The goal is to add the email addresses of these bodies to the cave protection information system so that we can share information directly with the concerned colleagues.

In case that you have a dedicated email address or someone in charge, please send a short email to “protection@eurospeleo.eu” or fill out the form on our NEW internet site of the commission “www.eurospeleo.eu/ECPC”

Thank you for your cooperation. The ECPC Team

29 September 2022

NEW Website for the ECPC – European Cave Protection Commission

The European Cave Protection Commission is happy to announce that their new Homepage is now live and online.
After the renewing of the main FSE site www.eurospeleo.eu the ECPC commission opted for a subsite with all its content.

Some work still has to be done but the main topics are already online.

You can access the site here: www.eurospeleo.eu/ECPC

In case that there is anything you would like to tell us, please use the email address protection@eurospeleo.eu or use the contact form on the site.

We would be pleased if you could spread the message among your organisations and networks.

Jean-Claude Thies; ECPC President

20 May 2022

ESPL2021 winner now also Natura 2000 Award winner

Two days ago I was invited to join the German Speleological Federation VdHK on its trip to Brussels for the Natura 2000 Award Ceremony from the EU Commission for Environment.

It is with great pleasure to announce you that the EuroSpeleo Protection Label 2021 winner, the “CaveLife App” Project from the German Speleological Federation VdHK has now also won the Natura 2000 Award in its category Crossboarder cooperation.
This is a great achievment for the cave protection in Europe and in the name of the FSE and ECPC, I would like to congratulate the VdHK for this award.

Getting such an award does not mean it’s a final honor, no it must be seen as a motivation for further struggles to raise cave protection into public and political awareness.

We used the opportunity of the Natura 2000 Award Ceremony to hand over a joint “open letter” from the VdHK together with the ECPC, to Mr. Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for Environment,
Oceans and Fisheries, regarding the inclusion of geodiversity beside biodiversity in future protection measures.
We had as well a talk to Mrs. Florika Fink-Hooijer, Director General of DG Environment about the same topic.

Jean-Claude Thies; ECPC President