On 17-19 October 2018, in the Educational and Scientific Center of the ZPKWŚ in Smoleń, the Jubilee XXV International School of Nature Protection in Karst Areas was held. The honorary patronage over the event was taken by: the Marshal of the Silesian Voivodeship, Mr Wojciech Saługa, the Voivode of Silesia Mr Jarosław Wieczorek and the Rector of the University of Silesia in Katowice, Full professor Mr Andrzej Kowalczyk.

The following institutions were the organizers: The Complex of Landscape Parks of the Silesian Voivodeship, AOPK ČR - Správa CHKO MORAVSKY KRAS (Czech Republic) and the Department of Geomorphology of the Faculty of Earth Sciences of the University of Silesia. The honorary committee was composed of: RNDr. Leoš Štefka - Director of Sprava CHKO Moravski Kras, (Czech Republic); Kęstutis Baronas - Directorate of the Biržai Regional Park (Lithuania); Full professor Mr Leszek Marynowski - Dean of the Faculty of Earth Sciences, University of Silesia; Master of engineering, Mr Jan Lamch - Director of the Complex of Landscape Parks of the Silesian Voivodeship.

The International School of Nature Protection in Karst Areas (Karst School) is a conference that has been permanently included in the calendar of sessions related to the subject of nature conservation - protection of karst areas. The aim of the School is to exchange experiences among nature protection services, local governments, representatives of scientific centers, local communities, non-governmental organizations and among partners from abroad: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Ukraine. The school was set up at the beginning of the 90s of the 20th century, during the formation, after systemic change, of a new nature conservation organization in the countries of Central Europe and from the beginning it serves to protect karst areas more effectively under the conditions of existing land use and development.

In 2018, the Jubilee XXV edition of the International School of Nature Protection in Karst Areas took place, which, like the first one, took place in the Krakowska-Częstochowska Upland. It was a summary of the effects of the 25 years of School and it was a discussion about the future of karst areas protection.

The first part of the presentation session was a summary of 25 years of the International School of Nature Protection in Karst Areas, during which the following speakers spoke: Jan Lamch - Director of ZPKWŚ, Leos Stefka - Director of AOPK ČR Sprava CHKO Moravsky Kras, Andrzej Tyc - Faculty of Earth Sciences, University of Silesia. There were plenty of memories and interesting photos from the first editions of the conference.

After a short break, Antonin Tuma (CHKO Moravski Kras) resumed the debate: Ochrana krasových jevu. Next, the employees of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences: Dilyana Stefanova, Petar Stefanov, spoke about the protection of karst areas in Bulgaria. In turn, the Director of Birżai Regional Park Kęstutis Baronas, presented the problems of managing karst areas in Lithuania in the speech "Management of karstic territories Biržai Regional Park". The international block of speeches was supplemented by Director of the Pieniny Park, Vladimír Kĺč, with the paper "Increased ecological awareness through the Pieniny National Park".

The second part of the presentation session was opened by the representative of the Lithuanian Geological Institute, Jonas Satkūnas, with the paper: Investigations and management of karst phenomena in Biržai regional park. Then a representative of the Regional Directorate of Environmental Protection in Katowice - Damian Czechowski gave a speech "Caves as a subject of protection in Natura 2000 areas in the Częstochowa Upland". The next speaker was a representative of the Małopolskie Voivodeship Landscape Parks Agency - Piotr Dmytrowski, who presented the problems of protection and promotion of inanimate nature in the Jurassic Landscape Parks. Maria Baścik (Jagiellonian University) together with Dorota Okoń (ZPKWŚ) raised issues related to the state of protection of the spring areas on the Krakowska-Częstochowska Upland.

In the afternoon session, presentations were also presented by: Andrzej Tyc from the University of Silesia ("Protection of karst phenomena in the Krakowska-Częstochowska Upland") and Adam Skwara from RDOŚ Katowice ("Active protection of geological objects on the example of the Szachownica Cave").

On the second day, a field session took place, and the first stop was the Parkowe Nature Reserve, in which the participants saw the natural monument of the Twardowski Cliffs and the spring areas of the Wiercica River. Then, the Lipówka quarry was visited in Rudniki, and the main point was the didactic path located on its territory. Later, in Mstów, Deputy Voit, Mr Adam Markowski, presented a short presentation about the natural and landscape values ​​of the commune, and then led the group presenting the Szwejcer hill, springs in Mstów and the Wał Mountain.

On the third day there was a session: Education and prevention, in which their presentations were presented by: Leos Stefek (CHKO Moravski Kras), Michał Poros (Geopark Kielce, Geoeducation Center), Petar Stefanov, Dilyana Stefanova (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences), Eugeniusz Milczarski (the Complex of Landscape Parks of the Lodzkie Voivodship), Anna Śliwińska-Wyrzychowska (Movement for Earth Association of Socio-Ecological Initiatives "Przytulia") and Piotr Niedbał (ZPKWŚ).

The field session concluding the conference led through the educational path of ZPKWŚ in the Wodąca Valley along with the Biśnik Cave, which was repeatedly the theme of the meetings of the "Karst School". The last accent was visiting the ruins of the Pilcza castle in Smoleń.

After returning to the Center, there was a summary of the proceedings of this year's "School" and an invitation to participate in the next conference, which according to preliminary plans is to take place in the Moravian Karst.

We would like to thank the participants of this year's conference for active participation in each of its parts.