Foundation for the Preservation and Exploration of Caves

Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan


                         FIRST CIRCULAR

International Speleological Forum

Dedicated to the 50th Anniversary of Speleological Research in Central Asia

Tashkent, Uzbekistan, August 21-24, 2020

 Welcome to the Central Asian Speleological Forum!

In the early 70s of the 20th century, the countries of Central Asia began purposeful speleological research. Their vast territories included caves and karst areas extending from the borders of western China in the east to the shores of the Caspian Sea in the west, and from the Altai Mountains in the north to the Pamir ridges and the Amudarya River in the south.

Within 50 years, thousands of caves were discovered and explored in Central Asia. Some of them still top the ratings of the most interesting and unique cave systems in the world. They include:

  • The incredibly beautiful gypsum caves of Kugitang in Turkmenistan.
  • The high-mountain cave Rangkul in the Pamirs and caves of the Khodja Mumin salt massif in Tajikistan.
  • Fabulous caves of the Chil-Ustun mountain range, in southern Kyrgyzstan.
  • Unique glacial caves of the Enylchek glacier system in the heart of the Central Tien-Shan.
  • Hydrothermal karst caves in Kazakhstan.
  • The deepest alpine cave systems in Asia: Boy-Bulok, Dark Star, Vishnevsky, Festivalnaya, Kievskaya, in Uzbekistan.
  • Moreover, it is likely that in very near future there will be a sensational connection of Boy-Bulok and Vishnevsky, which might create the deepest underground system in the world.

All these natural monuments could potentially become candidates as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

In recent years, the speleological movement in Central Asia has gained a second wind. Exploring caves has become not only a hobby, but also part of adventure and scientific tourism. Fundamental scientific research and observations are being carried out inside caves. New promising karst areas are being explored. The scientific future of Central Asian speleology is very bright.

Forum Goals and Objectives

The purpose of the Forum is to advance speleology in Central Asia with the following specific goals:

  • Enhance support for the speleological movement in Central Asian countries.
  • Improve coordination of speleological research and the regional study of caves in various aspects of the speleological and earth sciences.
  • Expand speleo tourism in the region.
  • Broadly inform the public about the history of modern speleological research and promising expeditions.

Within the framework of the Forum you will enjoy:

  • An international conference on the scientific to practical aspects for speleology.
  • Contests and exhibitions of cave photos.
  • An exhibition of retro speleological equipment.
  • Round-table discussions of important speleological topics with local to international experts.

 Organizing Central Asian Speleology

This Forum will lead the way into the next 50 years of speleological research in Central Asia. By joining the Forum, you will:

  • Discuss the important issues:
  • on the coordination and interaction of all interested institutions and individuals in the study of promising caves of Central Asia;
  • the search for and research of new caves in the highlands of the Surkhandarya and Kashkadarya regions of the Republic of Uzbekistan; and
  • the search for and study of karst areas and new caves in the highlands of the Tien-Shan and the Pamirs.
  • Participate in the discussion and resolution of creating the Central Asian Speleological Union.
  • Participate in the discussion and resolution of creating the Atlas of Central Asian Caves.
  • Building a closer relationship between the International Union of Speleology (UIS) and speleo organizations in Central Asia.

Forum Conference Topics

You are invited to present lectures during the Forum on one or more of the following topics:

  1. Speleology in Central Asia.
  2. History and prospects of research in Central Asian karst regions.
  3. New discoveries in speleology: results of exploration in caves of Central Asian and other parts of the world.
  4. Modern exploration methods for caves and karst areas.
  5. Scientific speleological studies in biology, archeology, mineralogy, paleoclimatology, paleoseismology, hydrothermokarst, anthropology, hydrogeology, medicine, social science, etc.
  6. The challenges of cave preservation.
  7. Prospects for ecological speleological tourism.
  8. Ecological issues of caves and karst areas and the problems of conservation of habitats and biodiversity.
  9. National economic impacts of caves and karst areas.

Information on how to prepare your abstracts and papers is given below.


  • State Committee of Uzbekistan for Tourism Development
  • Foundation for the Preservation and Exploration of Caves (Kyrgyzstan)
  • Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan.

Sponsors and Support

  • International Union of Speleology (UIS).
  • LLC “ASIA ADVENTURES” (Uzbekistan).

 Location and Dates

Republic of Uzbekistan, Tashkent, 21-24.08.2020

Invited Forum Participants:

  • Representatives of national, regional, international public, private and non-governmental organizations
  • Decisionmakers from state agencies in Central Asia
  • Specialists and experts of regional and international organizations
  • Scientists engaged in research of speleological issues and natural resources
  • Speleological federations, unions, and clubs
  • Institutions related to the National Academies of Sciences (geographical, geological, biological, historical and archaeological, etc.)
  • Scientific centers
  • Scientific and environmental societies and organizations
  • Travel organizations
  • Research institutes
  • Students


Until 1 July 2020, the registration fee is 100 US dollars. The fee covers: coffee breaks, lunch, information in hard and soft copies, a participant’s folder, rental of the conference room, publication of abstracts and papers.

After 1 July 2020, the registration fee is 130 US dollars. Registration closes on 11 August 2020.

Registration fees for excursions will be announced later.

Hotel accommodation and other personal expenses are paid separately by participants.

If you need an official invitation, contact the Secretariat:

  • Executive Secretary, Dr. Alexey Dudashvili, Secretary of the Tien-Shan Geological Society, Secretary of the Foundation for the Preservation and Exploration of Caves. (Kyrgyzstan), e-mail: info@speleo.kg
  • Secretary, Vladimir Dolgiy, master of sports in speleo tourism, (Uzbekistan), e-mail: dolvf@mail.ru
  • Assistant Secretary, Adela Kayumova – Manager of the Congress Bureau of the Committee on Tourism Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan, e-mail: uzbconventionbureau@gmail.com

Forum Program

21 August 2020

Arrival of participants

22 August 2020

  • 09:00 – 09:30      Registration
  • 09:30 – 10:30      Forum opening
  • 10:30 – 10:50      Coffee break
  • 10:50 – 12.00      Plenary session
  • 12:00 – 12:20      Coffee break
  • 12:20 – 13:00      Plenary meeting
  • 13:00 – 14:00      Lunch
  • 14:00 – 16:00      Plenary meeting
  • 16:00 – 16:20      Coffee break
  • 16:00 – 18:00      Sectional work on the subject and round table meetings
  • 19:00                     Dinner on your own

 23 August 2020

  • 09:00 – 11:00      Plenary session
  • 11:00 – 11:20      Coffee break
  • 11:20 – 13:00      Sectional work on the subject
  • 13:00 – 14:00      Lunch
  • 14:00 – 16:00      Sectional work on the subject
  • 16:00 – 16:20      Presentation of the winners of the photo exhibition
  • 16:20 – 16:40      Summary of the Forum results
  • 16:40 – 17:00      Next step in Central Asian Speleology
  • 17:00                   Close of the technical part of the Forum

24 August 2020

  • Excursion to the ancient Samarkand City (optional).

Important dates

  • 1 April 2020: Publication of 2nd Circular
  • 10 August 2020: Deadline for registration
  • 20 July 2020: Deadline for submission of abstracts and papers
  • 20 July 2020: Deadline for submission of photos for the photographic exhibition
  • 21 August 2020: Registration of forum participants
  • 22 August 2020: Forum begins
  • The title of the reports and the photo of the speaker must be provided no later than –  01 June 2020

Instructions for Presentations Papers

By the beginning of the forum, it is planned to publish a collection of abstracts. In this regard, it is necessary to send the materials of your abstract and your report to the Secretariat by e-mail. The volume of abstracts is not more than 0.5 – 1 pages. The volume of the report is up to 5 pages of text with figures and a list of references. Following the conference, reports will be posted electronically on the forum’s official website. The basic rules for abstracts and a full report are given below:

All Forum participants will receive the Forum proceedings, with the collection of theses. To make this possible, you must send your papers and theses by e-mail to the Secretariat no later than 20 July 2020.

All presentations will be made in two ways: orally and written. The oral presentation should be prepared in Microsoft PowerPoint. All authors will receive instructions on the time amount of time available for their oral presentation.

The written presentations will be published as papers in the proceedings. Each paper is limited to a maximum of 5 pages of text, including figures and references. The text must be typed in the Microsoft Word (DOC format), using Times New Roman size 14 font with an interval – 1. All page margins must be 2.0 cm on A4 paper. The abstracts size should be no longer than 0,5 – 1 page.

The title of the paper should be capital, bold letters. Initials and surnames of the authors are separated from the title by an empty line, typed in bold lowercase letters (the speaker’s name should be underlined). The full name of the organization, city, country and email address must be added in italics below the author’s name.

For abstracts and articles in Russian: Everything is duplicated in English, centered and separated from the main text by an empty line.

The text is typed in normal Time New Roman font with an indent of 1 cm at the beginning of each paragraph, aligned in width, without hyphenation. References are given in parentheses indicating the name of the author and year of publication. Complex formulas (containing fractions) are inserted by means of the formula editor.

References are written in Times New Roman size 12 font at interval – 1. Separated from the text by an empty line, the authors are arranged in alphabetical order.

No more than 2 illustrations drawings should be inserted into the text in JPG or TIF formats (resolution not lower than 300 dpi) and provided with a separate file with the authors name in the file name. Illustrations may be black and white or color. Captions for all illustrations must be included in the text.

No more than one table should be included and it must have a caption. It must be typed in Time New Roman size 12 font.

The file names must correspond to the names of the first author (for example, Ivanov.doc).

The Organizing Committee will review all papers and organize them for best order of presentation in the program.

Example of Properly Formatted articles for Publication


I.I. Ivanov.

Tashkent State University, Tashkent, Uzbekistan ivanov@ya.ru

P.P. Petrov.

Cave Preservation and Research Foundation, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan petrov@mail.ru

text text text text text text text text text (Kovaleva G.V. 2006). text text text text text text text text text text text text text text (Loseva, 1992). text text text text text text text text text (fig. 1).

Photos must also be sent separately in JPG format.

List of references

Kovaleva G.V. The history of the diatom flora formation of the Azov Sea in the Late Quaternary // Materials of Int. Symposium “Late Cenozoic geological history of the north of the arid zone.” Moscow: Publishing House of Moscow State University, 2006. S. 209–214.

Photo Contest Terms

The Photo Exhibition will be held in order to familiarize the forum participants with the history of speleological research in Central Asia, as well as in order to familiarize themselves with outstanding caves and expeditions. Retro photos in black and white are welcome.

Photo Submission Terms

Photos must be sent to the secretariat no later than July 20, 2020, in JPG format, as well as those who wish can bring original photos with them in Tashkent.

Photos for the exhibition must be provided on a white background. The size of the white frame outside the photo is 5 cm. No more than 2 framed photos are accepted

Photo format file          The file size in pixels (about)

30 * 40                                   3000 * 4700

20 * 30                                   2300 * 3600

30 * 60                                   3600 * 7000

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