The Observatory is set up in defense of Karst areas

"FinalMenteSpeleo" presented the three year agreement signed by Italian Alpine Club (Cai), Federparchi and Italian Speleological Society (Ssi)

03 November 2017
Together to defend landscape assets, including parks and natural reserves.

This is the goal of the new Observatory on hypogeous heritage in protected areas, consisting of the Italian Alpine Club (Cai), Federparchi and the Italian Speleological Society (Ssi). Its task will be to provide a national picture of karst areas, caves and artificial hypogea, defining new and ongoing activities of research and protection that also include training courses.

The three-year Memorandum of Understanding was presented to Finale Ligure on Thursday, November 2 at FinalMenteSpeleo 2017, an international rally dedicated to speleology that attracted more than 3,000 people to Liguria.

Marco Menichetti, chairman of the Cai Central Speleology Commission, commented: "The main Italian karstic areas and the major and most important caves fall within the boundaries of parks and are therefore considered habitats protected by European Union directives. It is therefore necessary to establish a virtuous and profitable relationship that allows a continuous dialogue between those who daily handle the needs of protected areas with those who practice speleological activity. From a shared point of view, this protocol allows both the spread of the geographic and scientific knowledge of the underworld, as well as the identification of common strategies of protection and enjoyment".

Cai, Federparchi and Ssi have among their priority goals the protection of natural caves, epicurean karst landscapes and underground environments of naturalistic, historical and cultural value. The three associations with this document intend to establish a virtuous and profitable relationship between the managers of protected areas and the speleological groups with the common goal of conserving caves.

"This is a very important agreement. It will allow constant monitoring of the critical features of caves and karstic territories present in both parks and protected areas - explains Vincenzo Martimucci, Chairman Ssi - We will also have the task of assessing the quality of the national meetings. Basically, it is about evaluating the proposals that come from speleological organizations and institutions. Not only will we evaluate content and feasibility, but we will work to avoid improvised situations or, worse, organized for profit".

The protocol, which follows the agreement signed in La Spezia in June 2013 for the knowledge and protection of the Karstic environments, also provides for the organization of joint activities of environmental education, training and updating for the conservation, protection and knowledge of the environments underground.

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