Original paper

Necessary qualities in legislation to protect karst areas

Middleton, Gregory J.


There are two approaches to protecting caves by law: reserving the land in which they lie (and then effectively managing them) under national park type legislation, and directly legislating to make it a criminal offence to damage, pollute or otherwise degrade caves or their contents. Examples of both methods are outlined and discussed. While each approach has its strengths, it is argued that the reservation approach is generally to be preferred as it can confer the necessary protection on the cave's catchment, the vegetation above it and the whole body of surrounding rock. In short, it is more likely to provide protection for the cave and its context – and to provide ongoing (hopefully expert) management.


cavemanagementkarst protectionreserveslegislation