A manifesto for the cave Let’s save Cueva de las Estegamitas!

Let’s save Cueva de las Estegamitas!

Scientists, speleologists, organizations, and people concerned about heritage in general and geological heritage in particular, as well as the general public convinced of the importance of maintaining a balance between sustainable development and the need to conserve the places where nature reaches its highest levels of expression, sign this manifesto:

  • Cueva de las Estegamitas or “Stegamites Cave” (La Araña, Málaga, Spain) is a recently discovered underground enclave of exceptional geological interest and global importance, due to the unique character of the set of stegamites that it preserves inside, their number, representativeness in all the states of its evolution, its magnificent conservation, and its beauty.
  • Cueva de las Estegamitas was discovered in 2021, inside an open-pit mining operation, which uses limestone rock to manufacture cement in an adjacent factory. At this moment, the future of the cave is pending a decision by the competent political administrations. The decision is currently halfway between absolute destruction and conservation.
  • The explorations and investigations carried out so far by speleologists and scientists have been very limited in time, but they have made it possible to demonstrate that this cave should be considered a Geological Monument of first order, due to its dimensions, its genesis, its state of conservation, its morphologies, the speleothems and sediments it contains inside, its geological significance and the enormous potential in other fields, research and heritage, in addition to the strictly geological heritage.
  • For all these reasons, they firmly and decisively urge the competent administrative and political authorities, and call on society as a whole, to take urgent measures in a double sense: to guarantee its conservation for direct knowledge by future generations and to allow the necessary research to be carried out to know in detail such an exceptional place of geological and heritage interest.

In Málaga, January 2024

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