From the Introduction: "The concept of establishing
guidelines to be used as general parameters for good show
cave management, originated during informal discussions
between members of the International Show Caves Association
at the time of the inaugural meeting of ISCA in Genga, Italy,
in November 1990. These discussions continued over time and
were first drafted for consideration at an ISCA meeting held
on 17th September 2004 during the 30th Anniversary of the
opening of Frasassi Cave, in Italy, to the public. The idea
of creating guidelines, received strong recommendations from
the UIS Department of Protection and Management at the 14th
International Congress of Speleology held in Kalamos, Greece,
in August 2005. These management guidelines are the result of
wide cooperation between the International Show Caves
Association (ISCA), the Union Internationale de Splologie
(UIS) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature
and Natural Resources (IUCN). The intention was to create
commonly accepted guidelines that all show caves managers can
work towards, taking into account both the protection of the
environment and socio-economical constraints. Many
recommendations and suggestions have been received in the
course of nearly twenty years, and therefore the document
reported here can be considered as the result of an active
cooperation among specialists involved in this matter. "
UIS Department of Karst and Cave Protection RECOMMENDED MANAGEMENT GUIDELINES FOR SHOW CAVES INTRODUCTION The concept of establishing guidelines to be used as general parameters for good show cave management, originated during informal discussions betwee n members of the International Show Caves Association at the time of the inaugural meeting of ISCA in Genga, Italy, in November 1990. These discussions continued over time and were first drafted for consideration at an ISCA meeting held on 17 th September 2004 during the 30 th Anniversary of the opening of Frasassi Cave, in Italy, to the public. The idea of creating guidelines, received strong recommendations from the UIS Department of Protection and Management at the 14 th International Congress of Speleolo gy held in Kalamos, Greece, in August 2005. These management guidelines are the result of wide cooperation between the International Show Caves Association (ISCA), the Union Internationale de SpÂŽlÂŽologie (UIS) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). The intention was to create commonly accepted guidelines that all show cave managers can work toward taking into account both the protection of the environment and socio economical constraints. Many recommendations and suggestions have been received in the course of nearly twenty years, and therefore the document reported here can be considered as the result of an active cooperation among specialists involved in this matter. 1 DEVELOPMENT OF A WILD CAVE INTO A SHOW CAVE The development of a show cave can be seen as a positive financial benefit to not only itself, but also the area surrounding the cave. The pursuit of these anticipated benefits can sometimes cause pressure to be applied to hasten the development of the cave. Before a proposal to develop a wild cave into a show cave becomes a physical project, it is necessary to carry out a careful and detailed study to evaluate the benefits and risks, by taking into account all pertinent factors such as the access, the synergy and possible conflict with other tourism related activities in the surrounding area, the availability of funds and many other related factors. The conversion should only take place if the results of the studies are positive. A wild cave that is developed into a show cave, and is subsequently abandoned, will inevitably become unprotected and be subject to vandalism in a very short time. A well managed show cave assures the protection of
the cave itself, is a source of income for the local econ omy and also may contribute to a number of scientific studie s. 1 1 A careful study of the suitability of a cave for development, taking into account all factors influencing it, must be carried out, and must be carefully evaluated, before physical developm ent work commences. 2 ACCESS AND PATHWAYS WITHIN CAVE S In many caves it has been found to be desirable to provide an easier access into the cave for visitors through a tunnel, or a new entrance, excavated into the cave. Such an artificial entrance could c hange the air circulation in the cave causing a disruption of the ecosystem. To avoid this, an air lock should be installed in any new entrance into a cave. On the other hand it must be mentioned that in some very exceptional cases a change in the air ci rculation could revitalize the growth of formations. A decision not to install an air lock must be only taken after a special study. 2 1 Any new access into a cave must be fitted with an efficient air lock system, such as a double set of doors, to avoid creating changes in the air circulation within the cave. Caves are natural databases, wherein an incredible amount of information about the characteristics of the environment, and the climate of the cave, are stored. Therefore any intervention in the cav e must be carried out with great care to avoid the destruction of these natural databases. 2 2 As much as possible, a ny develop ment work carried out inside a cave should avoid disturbing the structure, the deposits and the formations of the cave When a wild cave is developed into a show cave, pathways and other features must be installed. This invariably requires materials to be brought into the cave. These materials should have the least possible impact on both the aesthetics of the cave and its unde rground environment. Concrete is generally the closest substance to the rock that the cave is formed in, but once concrete is cast it is extremely expensive and difficult to modify or decommission. Stainless steel has the distinct advantage that it lasts for a long time and requires little, to no, maintenance but it is expensive and requires special techniques to assemble and install. Some recently developed plastic materials have the advantage of a very long life, are easy to install and are relatively easy to modify. 2 3 Only materials that are compatible with the cave, and have the least impact on the cave, should be used in a cave. Cement, concrete, stainless steel and plastics that do not emit volatile organic chemical are examples of such material s.
The environment of a cave is usually isolated from the outside and therefore the introduction of energy from the outside will change the equilibrium balance of the cave. Such changes can be caused by the release of heat from the lighting system and t he visitors and also by the decay of organic material brought into the cave, which introduces other substances into the food chain of the cave ecosystem. In ice caves, the environmental characteristics are compatible with wood, which is frequently used fo r the construction of pathways, as it is not slippery. 2 4 Organic material, such as wood, should never be used in a cave unless it is an ice cave where, if necessary, it can be used for pathways. 3 LIGHTING The energy balance of a cave should not be modi fied beyond its natural variations. Electric lighting releases both light and heat inside the cave. Therefore high efficiency lamps are preferred. Discharge lamps are efficient, as most of the energy is transformed into light, but only cold cathode lamp s can be frequently switched on and off without inconvenience. Light emitting diode (LED) lighting is also very promising. As far as possible, the electric network of a cave should be divided into zones to enable only the parts that visitors are in to be lit. Where possible a non interruptible power supply should be provided to avoid problems for the visitors in the event of a failure of an external power supply. It is essential to ensure the safety of the visitors in the cave, particularly in the event of a failure of the main power supply. Emergency lighting should always be available whether it is a complete non interruptible power supply or an emergency lighting system with an independent power supply. Local code requirements may be applicable and these may permit battery lamps or a network of LEDs or similar devices. 3 1 Electric lighting should be provided in safe, well balanced networks. The power supply should preferably be non interruptible. Adequate emergency lighting should be available in the event of a power outage. Lampenflora is a fairly common consequence of the introduction of an artificial light supply into a cave. Many kinds of algae, and other superior plants, may develop as a result of the introduction of artificial light. An im portant method to avoid the growth of green plant life is to use lamps that do not release a light spectrum that can be absorbed by chlorophyll. 3 2 Lighting should have an emission spectrum with the lowest contribution to the absorption spectrum of chlor ophyll (around 440 nm and around 650 nm) to minimize lampenflora
Another way to prevent the growth of lampenflora is the reduction of the energy reaching any surface where the plants may live. The safe distance between the lamp and the cave surface depen ds on the intensity of the lamp. As a rough indication, a distance of one meter should be safe. Special care should also be paid to avoid heating the formations and any rock paintings that may exist. 3 3 Lighting sources should be installed at a distanc e from any component of the cave to prevent the growth of lampenflora and damaging the formations and any rock paintings. The lighting system should be installed in such a way that only the portions of the cave occupied by visitors are switched on, leavin g the lighting in the portions of the cave that are not occupied switched off. This is important from the aspects of reducing the heating of the cave environment and preventing the growth of lampenflora, as well as decreasing the amount of energy required and its financial cost. 3 4 Lighting should be installed to illuminate only the portions of the cave that are occupied by visitors 4 FREQUENCY OF VISITS AND NUMBER OF VISITORS The energy balance of a cave environment can be modified by the release of he at by visitors. A human being, moving in a cave, releases about 150 watts approximately the same as a good incandescent lamp. Consequently, there is also a limit on the number of visitors that can be brought into a cave without causing an irreversible effect on the climate of the cave. 4 1 A cave visitor capacity, per a defined time period, should be determined and this capacity should not be exceeded. Visitor capacity is defined as the number of visitors to a given cave over a given time period, whic h does not permanently change the environmental parameters beyond their natural fluctuation range. A continuous tour, utilizing an entrance and another exit, can reduce the time that visitors spend in a cave, compared to the use of a single entrance/exit. In addition to the normal tours for visitors, many show caves have special activities, sometimes called "adventure tours where visitors are provided with speleological equipment for use in wild sections of the cave. If such a practice is not properly planned, it may cause serious damage to the cave. 4 2 When visits to wild parts of a cave are arranged, they must be carefully planned. In addition to providing the participants with the necessary speleological safety equipment, the visitors must always be guided by a guide with good experience in wild caves. The pathway, where visitors are to travel along, must be clearly defined, for
example with red and white tape, and the visitors should not be allowed to walk beyond this pathway. Special care must be taken to avoid any damage to the cave environment, and the parts beyond the pathway must be maintained in a clean condition. 5 PRESERVATION OF THE SURFACE ECOSYSTEM WHEN DEVELOPING BUILDINGS, PARKING, AND THE REMOVAL OF SURFACE VEGETATION AND WASTE RECO VERY It is important that the siting of the above ground facilities, such as the buildings, parking and waste recovery, be well planned. There is a natural tendency to try and place these development features as close as possible to the cave entrance. So metimes these features are built over the cave itself, or relevant parts of it. The hydrogeology above the cave must not be modified by any intervention such as the watertight surface of a parking area. Any change in the rainwater seepage into a cave can have a negative influence on the cave and the growth of its formations. Care should be exercised also when making any change to the land above the cave, including the removal of the vegetation and disturbance of the soils above the bedrock. 5 1 Any siti ng of buildings, parking areas, and any other intervention directly above the cave, must be avoided in order to keep the natural seepage of rainwater from the surface in its original condition. 6 MONITORING After the environmental impact evaluation of the development, including any other study of the cave environment, it is necessary to monitor the relevant parameters to ensure that there is no deviation outside acceptable limits. Show caves should maintain a monitoring network of the cave environment to en sure that it remains within acceptable limits. 6 1 Monitoring of the cave climate should be undertaken. The air temperature, carbon dioxide, humidity, radon (if its concentration is close to or above the level prescribed by the law) and water temperature (if applicable) should be monitored. Airflow in and out of the cave could also be monitored. When selecting scientists to undertake studies in a cave, it is very important that only scientists who have good experience with cave environments be engaged f or cave related matters. Many, otherwise competent scientists, may not be fully aware of cave environments. If incorrect advice is given to the cave management, then this could result in endangerment of the cave environment. Cave science is a highly spe cialized field.
6 2 Specialized cave scientists should be consulted when there is a situation that warrants research in a cave. 7 CAVE MANAGERS The managers of a show cave must never forget that the cave itself is "the golden goose" and that it must be pr eserved with great care. It is necessary that persons involved in the management of a show cave receive a suitable education, not only in the economic management of a show cave, but also about the environmental issues concerning the protection of the envi ronment at large. 7 1 Cave managers should be competent in both the management of the economics of the show cave and its environmental protection. 8 TRAINING OF THE GUIDES The guides in a show cave have a very important role, as they are the "connection" between the cave and the visitor. Unfortunately, in many instances the guides have not been trained properly and, not withstanding that they are doing their best, the overall result will not be very good. It is very important that the guides receive prop er instructions about the environmental aspects of the cave as well as dealing with the public. It is important that guides are skilled in tactfully avoiding entering into discussions, which can have a detrimental effect on the overall tour. The guides a re the guardians of the cave and they must be ready to stop any misbehaviour by the visitors, which could endanger the cave environment. 8 1 Cave guides should be trained to correctly inform the visitors about the cave and its environment.