save the hole world
- support cave protection in Europe
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30 September 2010 (updated 20 October 2010)
Public FSE meeting about the petition and the next steps in European politics!

Held on Saturday 30th of October 2010 at 9.30am in Casola Valsegno, Ravenna, Italy.

   » read details under Support «            » download detailed agenda «

9 October 2010
Successful European lobbying tour

Petition coordinator Bärbel Vogel had a very successful Europen lobbying tour for the petiton in the past week. She was able to speak and/or hand over the petiton officially the the following peoples and institutions:

Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for the Environment is impressed by the unified energy the European cavers and NGO's put into this. Being a Slowenian citizen, he has a profound expertise about the problems with karst and karst water. He assured us that the countries who were not able to sign the petition within the short deadline can still do this.

Ladislav Miko, Director for Nature in the Directorate General for Environment of the European Commission was handed over the declaration and we will stay in touch with him.

25 September 2010 (updated 7 November 2010)
Signatures increasing (updated)

Until now the represenative national caving associations of many European countries have officially signed the petition:

Czech Republic
Greece (Hellenic Fed. of Sp.)

Further the petition is signed by the followig organizations:

- International Union of Speleology (UIS) - Commission on Cave Protection
- International Union of Speleology (UIS) - Commission on Volcanic Caves
- European Federation of Speleology (FSE) - Cave Protection Commission
- International Show Caves Association (ISCA)
- Union Belge de Spéléologie (UBS) - Commission Protection et Accès
- Speleo-Info-Centras « KARSA », Lithuania
- GPS Grupo Protecao Sico, Pombal, Portugal
- Commission Wallone d'Etude et de Protection des Sites Souterrains, Belgique
- Commission de Protecion des Sites Speleologiques, Belgique
- Groupe Interclub de Perfectionnement par la Speleologie, Belgique
- Speleo Club des Bruxelles "Les Stalacs", Belgique

25 September 2010
Official support from Professor Paolo Forti, University of Bologna

Palo Forti, Full Professor of Geomorphology at University of Bologna, Director of the Italian Institute of Speleology and Past President of the International Union of Speleology wrote an official letter to support the petition (see downloads).

25 September 2010
International Symposium on Subterranean Biology boosting the petition

We recieved a letter from the organizers of the 20th International Symposium on Subterranean Biology held this month in Postojna, Slowenia, that they published an official letter supporting the petition (see downloads) that is signed by 54 representatives from the following countries (number of signatures in brackets):

Germany (5), Itlay (5), Australia (9), Spain (2), Czech Republic (2), Slowakia (2), Brasil (4), Portugal (1), Austria (1), USA (1), Romania (3), UK (1), Slowenia (11), France (3), Russia (1), Serbia (1), Netherlands (1), Kroacia (1)

25 September 2010
Official support from IFRAO

Dr. Jean Clottes Foix, President of the International Federation of Rock Art Organizations (IFRAO) wrote an official letter to support the petition (see downloads).

22 September 2010
Petition text published

Today the new Petition to Stop Trade, Import and Export of Cave Contents has been published and can be downloaded here:

>> download initiative text <<

Every European speleological federation is kindly asked to sign the petition for protection of cave contents and send a copy to until the end of September.

Many thanks to the people who helped with comments and improvement suggestions: Paolo Forti, Italy; Ioana Meleg, Romania; Jean Pierre Bartholeyns, Belgium; Jay Anderson, Australia; Helmut Steiner, Michael Laumanns, Friedhart Knolle, Stephan Kempe, Germany; Silvia Gautier, Netherlands; Christoph Spötl, Austria; Didier Caihol, France; Silvia Schmassmann, Switzerland; etc.

August 2010
New initiative planned

To work further on cave protection in Europe a new initiative to convince the EU Commission to act is in progress. We plan to

  • revitalize the cavedeclaration "written declaration 66" from 2008
  • have a petition to prohibit the trade of cave contents (speleothemes, sinter, cavebearbones etc.)
  • have papers about problems, such as construction projects in cave and karst areas, karstwater, biodiversity etc.
  • uncover the situation of European caves and karst by showing good and bad examples
  • get the support of as much countries, organisations, scientists, authorities and politicians in Europe we can

8th December 2008
Finally lost

The signatures for written declaration Nr.66 were not enough to let it pass. We got 140 signatures so it lapsed, because 393 would have been the minimum for a success.

(click on graphic to load large version in separate window)

Looking back

  • it was not possible to support the declaration from its beginning of the signing period on 1st September (information about it was at the End of August)
  • the time to organise the whole public campaign was extremely short (only 6 weeks)
  • too less time to involve all European Speleo Federations deeply in this project before (!) it was brought up
  • it was not possible to win big supporters from other NGOs

Good news

  • many speleo clubs, speleologists and federations took part in this campaign -Thanks a lot!
  • the information stand in the parliament was great success too, many interrested people who wanted to know more about the underground. These can be used for future projects.
  • in the meeting with Mr.Miko from the European Commission asked for cooperation in a GIS project and workshop
  • the declaration got 140 signatures- so there are many people who support the idea of cave protection in the Parliament and we have a good starting point to continue our lobby work on a long-term basis

Next steps

  • for the European Parliament: deputies of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (from different countries and parties) can be found who support cave protection for a new round table or working group
  • for the European Commission: GIS project with karst areas of each country in Europe and the protection status, to show the Commission that more work on that should be done and planing of a workshop for the new elected Commission in September 2009 about how cave protection in Europe can work
  • for speleology: speleological federations should strengthen their bands towards Europe and work together in an easy way
  • for speleologists: show up with new ideas and help to protect caves and karst in Europe - just send an e-mail

28th November 2008
Already 112 deputies have signed the WD66 declaration!
We want to thank all these deputies and all the people and organisation supporting us!

List of countries with the number of signatures and percentage to the total number of deputies (ordered by descending percentage):

Slowenia 6 (86 %)
Bulgaria 11 (61 %)
Greece 8 (33 %)
Romania 9 (26 %)
Portugal 6 (25 %)
Finland 3 (21 %)
Poland 10 (19 %)
Belgium 4 (17 %)
Lithuania 2 (15 %)
Ireland 2 (15 %)
Luxembourg 1 (14 %)
Denmark 2 (14 %)
Italy 11 (14 %)
Germany 11 (11 %)
France 8 (10 %)
United Kingdom 8 (10 %)
Spain 5 (9 %)
Hungary 2 (8 %)
Slovakia 1 (7 %)
Czech Republic 1 (4 %)
Netherlands 1 (4 %)

Sponsors of the WD 66

We would like to thank the following sponsors for their support:

  • The Greens | European Free Alliance
    For financial support of the flyers.
  • Metzgerdruck GmbH
    For printing postcards and posters.
  • Edition Reuss
    For donation of 10 books "Inside Mother Earth" from Max Wisshak and the support of our information stand in Brussels.
  • Klein und Neumann
    For designing the campaign.
  • Od*Chi Urwurz
    For the cave music in our presentation.
  • Alb-Gold
    For the donation of 'cavespagetti' as a culinary contribution and campaign support.

We would like to thank the cave photographers for the beautiful pictures for the campaign:

Other supporting organisations

20th November 2008
Postcards of the campain are now available!
Let us know how many you need (up to 10 per subject for speleo-clubs or 50 per subject for federations) by sending an email to .

19th November 2008
See photos of the speleo event in the parliament: In two days 2000 postcards with the declaration text, 1000 flyers and 1000 packs of maccaroni were distributed!

18th November 2008
We proudly present our Brussel Speleo Team:

Many thanks to Prof. Paolo Forti and Ferdinando Didonna (Italy), Herman de Swart and Wietske van der Berge (Netherlands), Pierrot Clemens, Dirk van Daerme and Jean-Pierre Bartholeyns (Belgium), Kasia Biernacka (Poland), Rainer Fohlert, Bärbel Vogel and Christiane Grebe (Germany), Ioana Meleg and Viorel Lascu (Romania), Alexey Zhalov (Bularia), for their help at the information stand, the meeting with the European Commission, for visiting the deputies, pack 1000 packs of maccaroni and for their good vibrations at the European Parliament!

11th November 2008
Our press conference held today at the European Parliament was a great success and our stand was visited by a huge number of interested deputees, officials, journalists and other interested people.


7th November 2008
We present our campaign presentation and our new capaign trailer! (Thanks to our Italian friends!)

5th November 2008
A press release has been officially launched to announce the two day campaign and press conference at the European Parliament on November 11th. >read more on media page<

4th November 2008
What has been done so far for WD 66! European Speleologists are working hand in hand for cave protection in Europe.

  • AT: Is contacting their EU deputies at the moment.
  • BE: Contacted their EU deputies already. Will provide information material and personal help.
  • BG: Contacted their EU deputies already. Will provide information material and personal help.
  • DE: Is contacting their EU deputies at the moment and will provide information material and personal help. German Cave Museum Iserlohn and Show Cave Dechenhoehle will lend a stalagmite with datings for the stand.
  • GR: Contacted their EU deputies already. Will provide information material.
  • IT: Is contacting their EU deputies at the moment. Will provide information material and movies.
  • LU: Is contacting their EU deputies at the moment.
  • NL: Contacted their EU deputies already. Will provide personal help at the stand in Brussels
  • PL: Is contacting their EU deputies at the moment. Will provide personal help for the campaign.
  • PT: Is contacting their EU deputies at the moment.
  • RO: Contacted their EU deputies already. Will provide information material and personal help.
  • SI: Contacted their EU deputies already.

11th November 2008
This is our team for Brussels!

The following people will attend the meeting with the European commission on November 10th:

  • Christiane Grebe, Germany
  • Ioana Meleg, Romania
  • Alexey Zhalov, Bulgaria
  • Paolo Forti, Italy

The following people will attend the press conference on November 11th:

  • Christiane Grebe, Germany
  • Iona Meleg, Romania
  • Alexey Zhalov, Bulgaria
  • Jean-Pierre Bartholeyns, Belgium
  • Kasia Biernacka, Poland

The following people will mainly help at the information stand from November 11th-12th:

  • Viorel Lascu and Iona Meleg, Romania
  • Herman de Swart and Wietzke van de Berge, Netherlands
  • Pierrot Clemens, Georges Michel, Jean-Pierre Bartholeyns, Belgium,
  • Bärbel Vogel, Christiane Grebe and Rainer Fohlert, Germany
  • Kasia Biernacka, Poland
  • Alexey Zhalov, Bulgaria

28th October 2008
We need 6-8 speleologists from 10th to 13th November to help at the stand and a professional photographer to take pictures at the stand, at the conferences, etc.
If you are interested please contact .
Concerning information material from spleological federations to hand out at the stand, please contact .

28th October 2008
Untill 20th of October 53 deputies already signed the declaration.

28th October 2008
→ Question of Mikel Irujo MEP about the trade of speleothemes.

16th October 2008
The translation office has corrected the texts for WD 66 today. In every language the missing word" speleologists" was filled in.

12th October 2008
Due to a translation mistake in the parliamentary translation office, the word "speleologist" is the missing in paragraph 2 (c) in the current version, which you can download from the parliament. The translation office will change this as soon as possible. Please excuse this.

9th October 2008
On 11th November 2008 we are organising a press conference in the EU parliament. More information soon here !

9th October 2008
On 11th and 12th November 2008 our information stand is located in front of the plenar hall in the EU parliament !

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