On the occasion of Caspian Sea day: waste management atop agenda

August 13, 2019

TEHRAN - Caspian Sea Day, annually observed by the Caspian Sea states on August 12, will be held in the city of Babolsar on August 15 with a theme of taking steps toward waste management in coastal provinces.

Ahmad Lahijanzadeh, deputy Department of Environment chief, made the remarks on Monday on the occasion of Caspian Sea Day 2019, Mehr reported.

The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed inland body of water on Earth by area. It is bounded by Kazakhstan to the northeast, Russia to the northwest, Azerbaijan to the west, Iran to the south, and Turkmenistan to the southeast. The sea has a surface area of 371,000 square kilometers and a volume of 78,200 cubic kilometers.

Caspian Sea Day aims to raise awareness about the environmental ramifications of human interference with this valuable ecosystem. The day marks the Framework Convention, also called Tehran Convention, signed by the official representatives of the five littoral Caspian states namely Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russian Federation and Turkmenistan in Tehran on November 4, 2003. 

Protocol for the conservation of biological diversity is added to the framework convention of the marine environment of the Caspian Sea, which is being reviewed by the Majlis (Iranian parliament), Lahijanzadeh said.

The special attention of the Majlis and the government on the protocol’s approval and waste management in coastal provinces can be an effective step in this regard, he noted.
He went on to say that the protocol was signed at the 5th meeting of the littoral states in Turkmenistan in 2014.

The 6th meeting of the Tehran Convention states is scheduled to take place in Baku, Azerbaijan, in November this year, he stated.

The exchange of information and planning to implement other protocols to the Convention, are among the issues to be discussed during the meeting, he concluded.

Parvin Farshchi, former deputy head of the Department of Environment (DOE) for marine affairs, in August 2018 said that among the Caspian Sea states, Iran discharges the lion’s share of plastic waste into the sea.

Sirous Vatankhah, secretary of energy technologies development headquarters at Science and Technology Vice-presidency, has said that the amount of waste generated in the northern provinces of the country, neighboring the Caspian Sea, is snowballing at a rate of over 7,000 tons a day, accounting for 14 percent of the total daily 50,000 tons of waste production in the country.

There is a significant relationship between the prevalence of various diseases and the amount of waste generation, which must be considered a "danger sign" that needs urgent measures to contain the issue, he highlighted.

FB/MG

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