Intrudaction: Monitoring of carst caves
Andrej Kranjc - (31/1,2002)
The monitoring, a regular, continuous observation aimed to establish the state and eventual changes is an extremely important activity for protection and safeguarding of karst caves, in particular show caves. Obtained data gained by a suitable monitoring are essential for protection and conservation of natural conditions underground. For planning the tourist exploitation and appropriate management in show caves a detailed and integral knowledge of a cave is essential, knowing the natural properties and capacity of regeneration of certain natural characteristics and impact which is caused or could be caused by human activity, in a case of a show cave, by visitors mostly. These questions cannot be solved without an appropriate monitoring. Obviously a protection and conservation of a cave listed in the UNESCO World Natural Heritage is even more important, as this is not only "our" but "world" heritage. In the course of the 17th and the 18th centuries the caves have been looked upon as a very remarkable phenomenon of the Trieste surroundings. A real show cave they have become already in 1819. They have been an important starting point for Lindner's investigations for the water supply sources for Trieste, as proved by Svetina's exploration in 1839. In spite of this the major part of the caves have not been surveyed until the Caving Department of the Littoral Section of the German-Austrian Mountaineering Society has been founded in 1884. Their members reached the final siphon in 1891 and another 100 years were needed before the cave divers passed through it. In pace with exploration the tourist interest and visit grew too as well as the consciousness of safeguarding the precious natural phenomenon. Therefore ©kocjanske jame have been one of the first caves being inscribed in the list of World's natural heritage of UNESCO in 1986. This fact requires much more attention oriented towards the protection and safeguarding of natural phenomenon itself than to its economic exploitation. To fulfil this the knowledge of natural state and recording of its changing is necessary. To achieve this the appropriate monitoring has to be established. At the 15th anniversary of the inscription of ©kocjanske jame into the UNESCO's list, in November 2001 an international workshop on monitoring in karst caves has been organised. The initiator and the organiser too, together with Karst Research Institute from Postojna and Park ©kocjanske jame, has been the Slovenian National Commission for the UNESCO. Professional papers of the workshop are very interesting and important not only for ©kocjanske jame, but for the protection of caves in general. So the Editorial Board of Acta carsologica accepted with pleasure to publish the papers of the workshop in this journal.