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Cavers Charter

1. Who should attend the charter
2. The purpose of the Charter
3. General principles (of speleological activity)
4. Main legal regulations related to :
5. Protected areas (Law 462, DG + OM)
6. Protection of caves(FRS regulations)
7. Underground activity
8. Relationships betweencavers and clubs (asof discovery, exploration, copyright of the map, exclusivity and priority)
9. Categories of caves
10. Categories of activities
11. The charter

This book addresses all those attending or using subterraneanspace, whether or not members of the Romanian Federation of Speleology- FRS.
They undertake to respect the ethical rules set out in this book, otherwise they will face the legal consequences of their actions.
All internal structuresof the FRS (Federal Commission, the Steering Committee - CD)and all clubsundertake to guarantee this Charter and not only to make it known but to respect it.
Structures mentioned above have a fundamental role both in training, information as well as raising awareness for all those attending or using subterraneanspace.

The purpose is to protect caves and the surrounding area, ensure good relationships between the various people involvedin activities related to caves and caving including avoidance of conflicts andsetting priorities.

Who should attend charter:
1. Cavers RomanianFRS legitimate or not or other structures
2. Any foreigncaver
3. Custodians, administrationof protected areas containing caves
4. Local authoritiesthat manage caves

Complete with:
1. provisions of 462 caves status, classification, permitted activities, prohibitions, approval of these activities
2. OM administration
3. Categories of activities related to caves, in caves or outside) 



Each karstarea is characterized by specific features that create clear-cutand cause differentperceptions and practicesof people who come in contact with them.
Underground environment is fragile and vulnerable, so it must be perceived as such and should not be forgotten that the degradation is irreversible.

Responsibility and consciousness awakening in eachof us is the most effective way to protect a cave:
1. we can consider the underground environment as a fragile biotope, where notions of protection and respect for the cave fullyapply: do not dirtyanything nor realize graffiti, or light a fire, do not take anything, do not leave anything behind us, leave as few footprints as possible, to take out all remnants,including the garbageleft by others;

2. to avoid entering underground in large teams;
3. to think atother guests of the cave, especially bats:to have a balanced behavior and do not hesitate to postpone or evencancel a visit, ifit can cause damage or even destruction;
4. be careful not to dirty the fissure or otherformations with stagnantwater;

5. unattend pristine concretioned areas or, if this is notpossible to take other measures such as putting temporary paving, changing or cleaning shoes, etc.
6. to form a reflex of systematically gather any debris,including those found in the cave, in a bag providedspecifically for this purpose, we willthen remove the surface: the existence and even multiplicaton of scattered spots left by people everywhere underground, is simply intolerable;

7. it is preferable to use the electriclamp on the basis of acetylene in isolated passages orlow, or inareas heavily concretionedto avoid blackening walls and formations;
8. clumsiness and neglect is no excuse forcave damage or loss;
9. The equipment of the cave must be minimized and remain as discreet as safety rules impose it, and it must be adapted to existingconditions in thatcavity;
10. out ofabsolute necessity, the arrangements made
​​(permanent bivouacs, the massive unblock, unclear the plugs clogged with clay,pump siphons, fixedequipment or anyother material) must remain in place only exceptionally, if possible they should be provisional;
11. any anthropogenicintervention may alter the characteristics of the cave, so it has to be long studiedpreviously: a very short-term action can have long term consequences, both on the internal environment of the cavity, and onthe outside, they often provedto be irreversible;

12.limit unblocking to a minimal degree ofabsolute necessity: if the entry should beenlarged remain moderateand discreet;
13. take care not to disturb or filling soil layersthat may be of interest for geological, paleontological or archaeological natural or artificial cavities. Anydesilting works insuch fossils undisturbedsediment will be done only after obtaining aspecialist opinion;
14. Inform us and respect the law on archaeological remains. In the event of any discovery,stop exploring, do not take (Collect) any proof and alert FRS Protection Commission;

15. do not subtract concretions (they are beautiful only underground) the possession,sale, purchase, content exchange or the possession of any constituent part of a karst natural phenomena or artificial cavities (concretions, minerals, fossils, etc..) will not be tolerated not even with the title of personal collection and can be subject tolitigation under applicable law ;
16. even if we are privileged witnesses of the underground environmentwe must report any sign of degradation orpollution or groundwater cavity as soon as we see it ;

17. notify the Protection Commission or FRSof any caveportion having an exceptional nature interest which requires effective measures to protect against degradation;

18. any physical or administrative measure of protectionof the caves or sites, taken at the initiative of speleologists(closures, restrictions of access, conventions ...) that can lead to repercussionson freedom of exploration, must imperatively be a decision made by agreement with theCD, the sole arbitratoron the issue of interest and the reasons, inagreement with landowners, with the Institute of Speleology "Emil Racovita”. Also, he is absolutelymandatory CD –site obligation to ensure that this rule is respected, any other approachbeing considered as abusive and therefore invalid;
19. all other protective measuresundertaken, limiting freedom of exploration, shall be the subject of a broad information campaign among speleological community,but also in the area of the karst phenomenon : the reason for closure, ways to do that;

20. In any breach of these terms or damage done,by any means, access to portions of thatcavity, in accordancewith the preceding paragraph, theCD will start the procedure required by the circumstances;
21. organizing speleological competitions in the undergroundby FRS members,or anyone else, is strictly prohibited, whatever the purposeor stake put into play.
22. to keep discretionupon the caves of special interest and not allowor facilitate access to visitors who are notauthorized;
23. The information provided to press, radio, television, large circulation magazines or on web pages should notcontain details on the location or access to thecaves.

II. 2. Respect of others
- To foster thematerials found underground (equipment, measuring equipment, signaling systems ...), whether fixed, stored, orbelonging to other teams. Do not take anythingnor destroy;
- For obvious reasons of security, the entire underground equipment that appears faulty and /or dangerous shouldbe rebuilt orgroup responsible attention on it;
- Visiting cavitiesunder research / studywill be made only after first contact with speleologicalgroups that researches, especially security considerations. As a sign of respect for the work of others, in full agreement withthe above law anddiscoverers, no other type of exploration, except for a simple visit, cannot be achieved in a cave without thespeleologists who still have their ongoing activity there (publications, materials storedthere yet ...),unless it is ofcommon knowledge that they have abandoned theexploration of thatarea;

- Authors of an ongoing unblock in frequentedarea of caves,must , for clear securityreasons, ensure that any remaining materialstorage, or stability of cavernament, as a whole, does not represent a real dangerfor the others. Consideralternative information so that the peculiarities of the sector, and the signaling of;
- Comply with security rules, evaluate your our own limits and those ofothers, do not seek for self-improvement;a good self-control is the best guarantor of conscious behavior, respectful and weightedin relation to the underground;
- With a regard to the less experienced cavers:choose a cavity witha lower degree of difficulty, according to their level, do not let them behind (visual or voice contactis most desirable), do not hesitate to add more equipment to overcome the most difficult sectors to deal with,and wait ifour presence is required (essential in understanding the notion ofteam notion);

-for reasons of prevention and security report to the National Speleological Rescue Service - CORSA, the possible presence of gas pockets in acave (the period, observations);
- Avoid smoking underground, especially in poorly ventilated areas.

Chapter III. 

How to behave outside the cave

1. Private propertyis a fundamental right in Romania: a cave willalways find on someone’s land!
2. Take care that your car does not limit access to roads;
3. Leave as clean as possible: no trash, debris,broken equipment without slam stain;
4. lock all barriers or locking devicesyou have opened tofacilitate access;
5. To use, whenever possible, the existing pathsto reach the caves;
6. To be careful that the surface devices, as much as possible, be made temporary and not to change environment. To take care to remove all thatwe can to be helpful;
7. Respect the huntingperiods (restricted) and periods and places where fires are strictly prohibited.

III.2.Respect of others
- To cultivate a friendlyrelationship with riparian owners, local governments: to respect, to make use of usage of the quality of these contacts, to create and maintain long-term positive social contacts.

- To prevent the owner of our coming, if he hasexpressed a desire for us to do so. Do not ever serve our privileged relations otherwise than for collective interest;
- To take care to remain discreet (challengecommunities around the local noise is void);

- If the cave is closed by a slab, gate, grill, it was provided in order to protect the cavity: inform onways of access required by law or regulation visiting the cave andto fully respect the conditions of access;
- Do not forget that undesirable behavior of an individual or a group canimpact on all localcaving groups, or even the entire activity there: our image and free access is strictly related to responsible behavior, discreet and respectfulin relation to each other.

As a speleologist you have rights and obligations:
- Any member of the FRS must act according to ethics: he will ensure that his speech and behavior do not affect the imageor interest of FRS or speleology in general;
- To be elected in a FRS structure involves the adoption of responsible behavior and the ability to make a fair and impartial trial at any time;
- To know to remain dignified and tolerantin any circumstance.Let's ignore the personaldislikes and disagreementswith others, which can degenerate into harmfulsituations at any time in the general interest and / or speleology overall;

- Respect the personal nature of the work of others: discovery,mapping, publications, pictures (...),however are the property of their authors (individualsor legal entities, collectively or individually). These activities have rights that must be known and respected, but cannot justifyin any way abusive form of exclusivity. Givenprior consent by the author is absolutely indispensableto any use of another's work (like copyright);
- Publication of research activities and speleological results is strictly recommended as a formleft to the author (remember that a cave over which any data have not been releasedcannot be considered as existing in the eyes of the community!). In the exceptional casein which the subject of the publication must be protected, certain informationmust be omitted from the start. And, on the contrary, the situation in which certain data isvoluntary and used abusive should not be tolerated;

- Publications of clubs, regional and national undersuspicion that attract an audience far larger than the target, must avoid tendentious articles to issue or put in an unfavorable lightSpeleological field. These publications canjuggle with the image of speleology in general, and with the FRS, and they are subject tothe rigors of FRS, and the editorial college.
- To maintain our vigilance in terms of disseminating information about caves orsites with moredelicacy;
- Media and publications addressed to "general public": in this sector of our business, we must becareful to render the correct image ofunderground environment, to practice a smart strategy to inform the public, well aware of the"weight" and the impactof our comments, and without discrediting it;
- Any person who enters the underground environmentmust be ensured and dispose of underground conditionsand adapted equipmentin perfect working order: the check necessarilyrests with the organizer since the cave’s entrance;

- Teaching notions of speleological practice will not be limited to addressing to the technical aspect, they will include ways to raise awarenessof the practitioner and make sense of observation to realize the importance, responsibility, and by bringing to knowledge of basic rules of conduct balancedboth underground and at surface;
- Any attempt to use an undeveloped touristcave, or approachmade
​​in this regard (pressuremade ​​on the owner or custodians) in order to provide a strictly personal profitwill not be tolerated in any form by the FRS;
Speleologists behaviorabroad are specifiedin the Code of Ethics of Speleological expeditions, which can be shown to anyoneafter a simple request to the FRS.

Information taken from