Op maandag 13 september 2021 van 10:00 - 13:00 wordt het Internationaal Jaar van Grotten en Kast gevierd op het hoofdkwartier van UNESCO te Parijs. Je kan deze viering online bijwonen.

Dear all,

Here below is an important announcement to know how you can virtually join the celebration of the International Year of Caves and Karst at UNESCO Headquarters. Please read and join live or watch the recording when you can.

The International Year of Caves and Karst: Join the Celebration at UNESCO!

The International Year of Caves and Karst is organized by the International Union of Speleology (UIS) to celebrate caves and karst internationally and teach the world about their importance. Please join us, on Monday, 13 September 2021, when UNESCO will celebrate the International Year with us at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. Many governmental ambassadors and influential people will be at the meeting in Paris. These are people who have the power to make changes in UNESCO and their countries around the world to improve our ability to “Explore, Understand, and Protect” caves and karst. Change will not happen immediately. Changes are slow to happen with governments. But this is the biggest opportunity in history to advance worldwide governmental appreciation of caves and karst!

You can watch the celebration live on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzSiErLj5x6viNbvAdehDvA from 10:00-13:00 Paris time. You will also find it recorded to watch later at that site since many of you will normally be sleeping at that time. Please share this YouTube address! It is important that as many people as possible watch it to impress UNESCO with our interest and commitment to caves and karst.

While UNESCO seems far from many people, as the global organization of governments for education, science, and culture, its celebration of the International Year gives you strength to prove in your area, to your lawmakers, to your supporters, to your public, that caves and karst are truly important.

Thank you for your support. For more information, visit the International Year website (www.iyck2021.org). Also like us at the UIS Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/uisspeleo), UIS Twitter account (https://twitter.com/uisspeleo), and/or the UIS Instagram page (https://www.instagram.com/uisspeleo/).

We welcome your organization to join our 236 International Year partners (http://iyck2021.org/index.php/partners/) and to announce your International Year events and activities at http://iyck2021.org/index.php/events/.

George Veni
President, International Union of Speleology
Executive Director, National Cave and Karst Research Institute


The program, September 13, Celebration of the UIS International Year of Caves and Karst 2021: UNESCO Protected Areas and UN Agenda 2030

  • 09:00-10:00. Coffee for participants.
  • 10:00-10:15. IYCK 2021 video.
  • 10:15-10:45. Welcome address
    • M Ernesto Ottone, Assistant Director-General for Culture
    • H.E. Ms Metka Ipavic, Ambassador Permanent-Delegate of Slovenia
    • Dr. George Veni, President of UIS
  • 10:45-11:15. Keynote presentation by Prof. Dr. Nadja Zupan Hajna: A World of Karst, Caves and People
  • 11:15-11:30: Break
  • 11:30-13:00. Discussion panel, presentations by:
    • Prof. Dr. Fadi H. Nader: Safe and sustainable use of karst resources
    • Emeritus Prof. Dr. John Gunn: Caves and karst in UNESCO protected areas
    • Clayton F. Lino: Conserving caves and karst in biosphere reserves: The Cave MAB network
    • Dr. Paul A. Griffiths: Karst and UN Agenda 2030

Discussion and questions from the audience (hybrid event).

The ceremony will be moderated by M. Alik Ismail-Zadeh PhD, ISC Secretary and Governing Board member