Convention on Caspian marine environment comes into force

August 13, 2006
MOSCOW (Itar-Tass) – The Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea that has come into force on August 12 will enable the Caspian states to make joint efforts for the protection of a unique ecological system of the inland sea on the basis of a clear-cut normative document, taking into account the interests of all the people, Deputy Director of the Department for state politics in the field of environmental protection Amerkhan Amerkahnov told Itar-Tass.

"The Convention covers an entire range of problems of the environmental protection and spells out clear-cut mechanisms of cooperation not only between five Caspian states - Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, but other states as well. The Convention will enable to ensure joint, reasonable use of biological resources and their protection from industrial damage", Amerkhanov said.

"The Caspian sea has been going through hard times. Fish catches for caviar production are practically not regulated; the ecological system has been worsening because of heavy oil prospecting. The Caspian Sea being used as an important transport artery for the transportation of oil products is no way to improve the situation," Amerkhanov said. Over the past twenty years the sea level rose by 2.6 meters, which poses a threat to settlements, he added.

The governments of Iran, Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan signed the Convention in Teheran in November 2003.