April 23th to 26th, 2008
Agadir - Morocc
The underground world: heritage and sustainable human development vector
In collaboration with
Le Groupe Scientifique Multidisciplinaire pour les pour les Grottes du Sud Marocain: Étude et Valorisation (2GSM)
’’Association de Spélééologie d’Agadir (ASA)"Association Sportive de Spélééologie (ASS)
With the contribution of UNESCO and the support of "Géode: : terre et patrimoine"
Natural cave systems are places of cultural and scientific significance. For historical civilizations, caves were deemed mythical places, inspiring dread, veneration and curiosity. Today, the underground world is perceived more as a scientific laboratory undergoing perpetual evolution, where specialised speleologists,geologists, biologists, archaeologists or the simple curious visitors alike can find satisfaction. Cave morphologies, geology, habitats and biodiversities are plentiful and varied, recording natural environmental changes over thousands to sometimes millions of years of Earth history. Today, cave systems are fragile and vulnerable environments with both their natural and cultural content threatened by acts of exploitation,poaching and vandalism.
According to the UNESCO’s speech, this conference is completely dedicated to the sustainable human development using locale and neighbouring potentialities. We wish through, to bring together the full range of cave scientists with expertise in underground geology, archaeology, biology, climatology, environment, conservation and health to meet with government, industry and business officials who manage or use caves for tourism, sports and resource exploitation. Discussions between these groups will enable collective preservation and sustainable development of this natural heritage. Many countries employ scientists and government officials to produce cave management policies, with funding in place to maintain and develop the natural richness and heritage of cave systems. Morocco should also adopt this strategy, particularly in light of the large number of caves distributed all over its national territory (Rif, High, Middle and Anti Atlas ranges; Mediterranean and Atlantic littoral regions), where the jewel is undoubtedly the Wintimdouinecave, one of the three largest caves in Africa (18km in length). We propose to make this cave as a standard model for the sustainable development of the Souss-Massa-Draaregion. The main focus of this meeting will be to secure the support and collaboration of local authorities and the Moroccan government to propose the Wintimdouinecave as a UNESCO world heritage site.
* Karstic device
* Cave Palaeontology and Archaeology
* Cave systems natural hazards
* Tourist and sport speleology
* Detection techniques of the underground areas
* Underground environment protection
* Human safety and rescue into caves