Iran welcomes scientific cooperation related to Caspian Sea

May 28, 2021 - 16:43

TEHRAN – Iranian academic and scientific institutions have always supported scientific initiatives in relation to the Caspian Sea, Kazem Jalali, Ambassador of Iran to Russia said.

The "Caspian 2021: Ways of Sustainable Development" conference was held on Thursday at Astrakhan State University.

The specialized topics of the conference included cooperation in the fields of science and education, youth, the future, education in the digital age, marine technology, resource utilization, medical education, agricultural biotechnology, and aquaculture development priorities in order to achieve sustainable development and cooperation. 

Increasing scientific and research cooperation between institutes of the Caspian littoral states will be an important opportunity to promote knowledge and technology among the states, Jalali stated.

As a strategic region, the Caspian Sea has become a focal point for constructive competition and cooperation between the Caspian states and nations to ensure peace, stability, friendship, good neighborliness, and progress, he explained.

So far, five-sided documents between the Caspian littoral states in various fields have been signed, such as, marine environmental protection, meteorology, disaster prevention, science, and technology, which in comparison with other similar water areas in the world, is unique in terms of the number of documents and cooperation topics, he noted.

Significant measures have been done, in the field of information exchange related to the Caspian Sea, the establishment of the Caspian Sea database, the exchange of professors and students between the member universities, he also said.

One of the most important documents currently being considered by the five littoral states is the drafting of an agreement on marine scientific research in the Caspian Sea. This document will be the first scientific agreement in the Caspian Sea, he also said.

Challenges facing Caspian Sea

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.

The Caspian Sea water level has reached its lowest level since 1995, mainly because of a recent drop in the water level of the Volga River, which supplies most of the sea’s water, by about 22 percent.

In 2019, the average water level stood at -27.18 meters, showing 13 centimeters decrease compared to the year before.

According to the national center for Caspian Sea studies and research affiliated with the Water Research Institute, seawater temperature is one of the main criteria in heat exchange and an indicator in assessing the potential for evaporation from the water level, which is one of the main components of the Caspian water balance.

The increasing trend of the Caspian Sea surface temperature, especially in recent years, has been one of the factors affecting the reduction of water level.