Guidelines for Cave and Karst Protection

"The Working Group is an informal network of scientists, managers, cavers and speleologists who see the need to improve the sharing of information and expertise between protected area managers, speleologists and other karst specialists. The group was formed at the Fourth World Congress on National Parks and Protected Areas held in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1992. It has subsequently provided advice on cave and karst management to protected area managers and others. It has also commented on several World Heritage nominations and it has prepared these guidelines - the first time such an overview has been produced at the global level.
We hope that the guidelines will make a significant contribution to our knowledge of the special management considerations essential for protection of caves and karst. They are a "first step" and the challenge now is for the national and site specific strategies to be developed in karst areas around the world. We also recognise that these guidelines can provide a basis for wider consultation, and in due course, the preparation of a more comprehensive and effective international document.

Scope of Document

I Introduction: The context of karst protection
II Karst environments and cave systems
III The importance of caves and karst
IV Threats to caves and karst
V Some options in protection of karst
VI Management at the regional and site level
VII International co-operation and liaison
VIII Epilogue
IX References and further reading

1. IUCN Categories and management objectives of protected areas
2. WCPA Working Group on Cave and Karst Protection
3. Glossary of terms
4. Guidelines in English

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