Reports from CAIP Affiliates: Verband Oesterreichischer Hoehlenforscher (Association of Austrian Speleologists)

Verband Oesterreichischer Hoehlenforscher (Association of Austrian Speleologists) is the umbrella organization of the regional and local Austrian speleological societies. It aims to promote and stimulate cooperation and coordination of scientific speleological research, scientific education and publications at a national and international level. Beneath it tries to protect caves and karst landscapes.
International activities comprise the management of a border crossing cave documentation system, organization and participation in international meetings, international invitations to training courses and assistance for protected areas and sustainability programs.

In 2004 we organized three training courses (concerning sustainable show cave management and cave documentation), gave out a completely redesigned number of the worldwide-spread scientific journal Die Hoehle and participated in several international excursions. Several foreign scientists and cave explorers were invited for lectures in Austria. As a nongovernmental non-profit-organization we are dependant on the volunteer workforce of about 20 active members. Projects on nature protection and sustainability are partly supported by public relief.

Foreign speleologists are invited to all our education and training programs. Cave visitors from abroad, who are members of speleological societies get tickets at reduced prices.