Support to the Tehran Convention Process
The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed water body on Earth with a unique ecosystem with some 400 endemic species, threatened by a decline..
The Caspian Sea region has witnessed important developments in the past decade and many opportunities are still available. The region is a major supplier of hydrocarbons to the world market, and will play a considerable role in the global energy sector in the future, with new offshore fields due to come onstream in 2014. New transport corridors are under consideration. Fishing, once a traditional economic sector, now faces an alarming fall in stocks, resulting in unsatisfactory catches for fishermen and less work for associated activities. But opportunities are arising with the development of other sectors such as agriculture and tourism.
Under the continuous threat of over-exploitation, habitat destruction and pollution the Caspian Sea is still suffering severe environmental stress. Recently the changing environment has also been blamed on global warming. In addition to the rising sea level, the apparent changes in climate have resulted in increasingly frequent, more severe weather events around the Sea. Adapting to and mitigating climate change should be added to the region’s already long ‘to do’ list. Overall progress is steady but slow. For instance, there were number of measures improving the wastewater management in Azerbaijan over the years 2008-09.
Since 2006, when the five countries around the Caspian Sea ratified the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea, also known as the Tehran Convention, concrete commitments derived from the text have been needed to implement the Convention. Four protocols have been drawn up, detailing the actual commitments of the Parties to address biodiversity protection; land-based sources of pollution; preparedness, response and cooperation in combating oil pollution incidents; and environmental impact assessment in a trans-boundary context. The protocal on pollution has been adopted and signed at the third of the Conference of the Parties in Aktau, on august 2011.
This is the second edition of the Vital Caspian Graphics: Opportunities, Aspirations and Challenges. It is meant to help gain a proper understanding of the latest developments in the region and support the decision-making processes in addressing critical environmental concerns. Visual materials such as maps and graphics are the core of the publication. In addition, genuin photos by two regional photographers provides visual insides of the region.