federation devoted to the protection and sustainability of Australia's cave and karst environments
Formed in 1956, the Australian Speleological Federation Inc. (ASF) is the national body representing those interested in the protection and sustainability of Australia's cave and karst environments. It has approximately 850 members across 28 constituent bodies throughout all Australian states and territories.The ASF represents Australia within the International Union of Speleology, which is linked with UNESCO.
The federation is registered as an environmental organisation by the Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra. The ASF maintains a public fund, authorised under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 item 6.1.1, subsection 30–55(1) to receive tax-deductible donations for its environmental purposes.ASF works in environmental protection. Many members have largely recreational interests but have joined the federation to support its environmental objectives; others have primarily management, historical, scientific or academic interests in caves and karst. In all cases the federation's policies and guidelines influence the environmental practices of all cave users i.e. managers, recreational cavers, tourists, scientists and adventurous visitors. Throughout Australia, codes developed by ASF, e.g. Ethics, Minimum Impact, Cave Classification, Documentation, Cave Diving and Safety have been incorporated in land management plans both for caves and for broader karst parks.ASF publishes Helictite: Journal of Australasian Speleological Research. One of only four or five such refereed scientific journals in the world, this publication has improved understanding of caves and karst, and in turn the standard of interpretation provided to the public by guides and rangers.
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