Basic information
Original title:
Karst Underground Protection
Researchers involved:
1 December 2009–1 December 2011

Within the scope of the Karst Underground Protection project under the cover of Operational Programme IPA Slovenija-Hrvaška 2007-2013, researchers from the Karst Research Institute at the Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, in conjunction with our Croatian partners (the Istrian Region and Natura Histrica), have combined educational activity (the "Classical Karst" International Karstological School in 2010 and 2011) and research (cross-border speleobiological research in Istria), upgraded and computerised the register of caves in the Istrian Region of Croatia, published our findings in local media and specialist circles, and planned the establishment of a network of institutions involved in karst protection in the project area. One direct result of the project in the karst underground has been the cleanup of 12 caves in Croatia and Slovenia by Slovene and Croatian cavers and refurbishment of once elementary school Lanišće (Municipality of Lanišće, Croatia) into "Speleo center".


Adequate protection of the karst areas with the coordinating activity of the competent institutions of the two states;

Upgraded knowledge of the karst and information about the locations of the caves and their condition and protection needs;

Better access to information about the natural values for the science professionals, but also for the general and expert public;

Long term planning management of the project area to establish the adequate protection of karst and the sustainability of its aquifer as well as sources of drinking water for the population of project areas;

Protection of the biodiversity and natural values of the cleaned locations;

Explain to the local population the environmental risks caused by throwing waste into the spelological objects;

Provide adequate space for the work of the "Speleo center" and conduction of all the activities of the institutions from the environmental protection and speleology field;

Contribution to the local economic development on the wider area of the municipality of Lanišće (Croatia) and the border area;

Active participation of all the institutions and associations that deal with environmental protection and speleology in the karst border areas of Slovenia and Croatia;

Contribution of the International Network to make the project area recognizable as karst areas with exceptional natural and environmental values. 

Key links

Lead partner

Project manager

Project manager at ZRC


Funded by

OP IPA Slovenia-Croatia 2007-2013 (85 %), Government Office for Local Self-Government and Regional Policy (10 %), Research Centre SAZU (5 %)


karst • protection • caves • cross-boundary project