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Azerbaijan, topographic map Azerbaijan, topographic map
Azerbaijan is located in Southwestern Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Russia, with a small European portion north of the Caucasus range, comprising of 86,600 sq km. It has a population of 7,911,974 (2005). Major environmental concerns are: local scientists consider the Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) (including Baku and Sumqayit) and the Caspian Sea to be the ecologically most devastated area in the world because of sever...
01 Oct 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Caspian Sea and the world: the stage and the actors Caspian Sea and the world: the stage and the actors
The Caspian Sea region presents a wealth of opportunities in various aspect, including bioresources, transport corridors, and not ecotourism. These new ventures may bring increased prosperity, but they also put pressure on traditional rural communities and the environment.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Human Development Index (HDI) for the Caspian Sea countries Human Development Index (HDI) for the Caspian Sea countries
The characteristic feature in all four post-Soviet countries (Russia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan) is a relatively high level of education in relation to national income and rather low life expectancy, indicating high levels of poverty and deficient healthcare. In contrast the level for all three indicators in Iran is fairly balanced.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Markets for Caspian oil and gas Markets for Caspian oil and gas
The prospects for rapid oil wealth contrast with fast spreading poverty following the collapse of the Soviet economy. Although massive investment has suddenly been channelled into the area, its effect is still both geographically and socially very limited, with little widespread impact on society.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Biodiversity in the Caspian Sea (Approximate numbers) Biodiversity in the Caspian Sea (Approximate numbers)
The region presents a wealth of opportunities in other areas, including bioresources, transport corridors, and not least ecotourism. These new ventures may bring increased prosperity, but they also put pressure on traditional rural communities and the environment. This graphic presents the number of species in the groups: phytoplankton, zooplankton, zoobenthos, fishes, marine and land mammals and birds.
22 Feb 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Oil exports from inland Eurasia via the Mediterranean Sea, current and projected (2002 and 2010) Oil exports from inland Eurasia via the Mediterranean Sea, current and projected (2002 and 2010)
The Black and Mediterranean Seas are one of the main outlets for transporting fuel resources that have been extracted around the Caspian Sea region and from further inland. Oil is transported in pipelines to the ports on the Black Sea. Forecast project a dramatic increase by 2010, including the opening of a new port in Turkey.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Mine and industrial site in Koshkar-Ata, Kazakhstan Mine and industrial site in Koshkar-Ata, Kazakhstan
Much of the area near Koshkar-Ata Lake in Kazakhstan, just off the shore of the Caspian Sea, has been severely polluted due to mining activities of uranium phosphate. The area is also affected from chemical plants and metallurgic industries. The pollutants are quickly making there way to the Caspian Sea.
29 Nov 2007 - by Viktor Novikov, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Share of food in total household expenses (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan) Share of food in total household expenses (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan)
In all the areas bordering on the Caspian, priority must be given to diversifying activities and investment. Particular attention should be given to sectors such as tourism, agriculture and food production as well as services.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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The inlet of the bay of Kara-Bogaz-Gol before and after the construction of the dam (Turkmenistan, Caspian Sea) The inlet of the bay of Kara-Bogaz-Gol before and after the construction of the dam (Turkmenistan, Caspian Sea)
Kara-Bogaz-Gol is a lowland area that forms a highly saline bay on the east side of the Caspian Sea, in Turkmenistan. In Soviet times it was decided to set up a dam to block the flow of saline water from the bay to the Caspian Sea, and this was completed in 1980. The ensuing increase in the salt content of the southern part of the Caspian had biological consequences. In the spring of 1992, in view of the scale of the disaster, Turkmenistan, which...
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Annual flow of water to the Caspian Sea Annual flow of water to the Caspian Sea
Most of the water flowing into the sea comes from coastal rivers – currently supplying 300 to 310 cubic km a year. The Volga alone accounts for 80% of inflow. But it has dropped substantially during the 20th century, declining from about 400 cubic km in the 1920-30s to between 260 cubic km and 270 cubic km at present, due to various climatic factors and human activities such as dams built for hydroelectric energy production.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, for the Caspian Sea region countries Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, for the Caspian Sea region countries
Purchasing power parity (PPP) measures how much a currency can buy in terms of an international benchmark (usually dollars), since the cost of goods and services differs between countries. PPP is below the value of a US dollar in countries where the general price index is lower than in the US (as is the case for all five Caspian states -Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan, to varying extents), and above it where the prices are h...
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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The Caspian Sea drainage basin The Caspian Sea drainage basin
The Caspian Sea runs north and south, extending over 1,200 km, with an average width of 320 km. It covers approximately 400,000 sq km (an area slightly larger than Germany). The population of the region is about 14 million, distributed over the coastal provinces of five countries: 6.5 million in Iran, 3.9 million in Russia, 2.2 million in Azerbaijan, 0.8 million in Kazakhstan and 0.4 million in Turkmenistan.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Total sturgeon catch in the Caspian Sea, 1932-2000 Total sturgeon catch in the Caspian Sea, 1932-2000
Pressure from the international community having raised awareness of its value as a bio-resource, the region is now struggling to save the sturgeon. To protect the vulnerable fish species more then 100 million sturgeon and bony fish juveniles have been released into the Caspian Sea in recent years.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Mean sea surface temperature on the Caspian Sea Mean sea surface temperature on the Caspian Sea
Recent research by the Caspian Environment Programme estimates the number of living seals to be as low as 150,000. A further reduction in ice cover due to a warming climate could well be one of the major threats facing the Caspian seal in the future.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Desertification in the Caspian Sea region Desertification in the Caspian Sea region
Contrasting rainfall trends have been observed in the north and south. Whereas rainfall over Russia has increased over the last century, already dry areas such as the coasts of Turkmenistan and Iran have become even drier. Dust storms pick up large amounts of salt and dust as they pass over the Kara-Kum desert and the Caspian Sea shore, depositing it in the Volga valley where it impairs the fertility of arable land.
07 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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The Caspian Sea coastlines vulnerable to flooding The Caspian Sea coastlines vulnerable to flooding
Most of the water flowing into the sea comes from coastal rivers. The quantity and quality of this water, particularly that of the Volga, are key variables in the balance of the Caspian Sea. To this must be added rainfall over the sea itself. With the natural variability of the water, there are some key areas vulnerable to flooding due to changes in sea level.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Discharge of pollutants in the Caspian Sea - mercury and cadmium Discharge of pollutants in the Caspian Sea - mercury and cadmium
Mercury and Cadmium are classified as toxic metals, and are persistant pollutants in the environment, that stays in the system and is accumulated through the food chains. The main release of these pollutants are on the west coast of the Caspian Sea, off the coast of Russia and Azerbaijan.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Toxic metals in sediments of the Caspian Sea (Arsenic, Mercury and Copper) Toxic metals in sediments of the Caspian Sea (Arsenic, Mercury and Copper)
Sampled sediments in the Caspian Sea show that arsenic is spread out at multiple locations, but primarily on the southern and southwest shores of the Sea, on the shores of Iran and Azerbaijan - where also Copper is accumulated in the sediments. Mercury is concentrated on the Apsheron peninsula of Azerbaijan.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Comb-jelly (Mnemiopsis leidyi) spreading through the Caspian Sea (invasive species) Comb-jelly (Mnemiopsis leidyi) spreading through the Caspian Sea (invasive species)
The comb jelly (Mnemiopsis leidyi) is well adapted to the habitat (salinity, temperature, and food range) and reproduces faster than endemic species. As it eats the same food as them, it has had a drastic effect on their numbers, upsetting the entire food chain. The jelly is an invasive species, brought from North America by ships.
04 Oct 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Kara-Bogaz-Gol - restoration of previous water levels after 1992 (Turkmenistan, Caspian Sea) Kara-Bogaz-Gol - restoration of previous water levels after 1992 (Turkmenistan, Caspian Sea)
Kara-Bogaz-Gol is a lowland area that forms a highly saline bay on the east side of the Caspian Sea, in Turkmenistan. In Soviet times it was decided to set up a dam to block the flow of saline water from the bay to the Caspian Sea, and this was completed in 1980. The ensuing increase in the salt content of the southern part of the Caspian Sea, to levels exceeding 15 grams per litre, had disastrous consequences for the sturgeon population. In the ...
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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