Azerbaijan, Baku/ Trend , corr M. Karimova / Economical issues of the transition period have led to the fact that the Caucausus have not formed their own policies on governing water resources either internationally, regionally nor nationally. That was the reason of an international conference called "Governing Transborder Waters of South Caucasus and EU Neighbourhood Policy", recently held in Baku.
"The transition process to international standards and regulations in the field of governing the water resources in Azerbaijan is also going too slow," stressed Islam Mustafayev, the Chief of the Public Ecological Organization "Ruzgar".
Today the country faces huge problems with using both drinking water and water considered for economic purposes. Therefore, if the demand for water per capita increases in the country, then the supply of this water will permanently decrease. Participants of the conference indicated that due to the situationon the territories of neighbouring Georgia and Armenia, the water resources of such rivers as the Kur (the Azerbaijani toponym for "the Kura") and Araz (the Azerbaijani toponym for "the Araks") has reduced by some 20% resulting in the deficit of water in Azerbaijan by 4-6% per year. They said that is was necessary to cement the co-ordination between different water resources, since up to 50 different projects to improve the governing of water resources have been implemented in the basin of the Kura over recent years, however, with no continuity.
Issues connected with using water resources for agriculture, global water co-operation, role of NGOs and mass media in governing the waters of the country, protection and using the water resources of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan, etc were viewed by participants during the conference.
In conclusion, a round table discussion on the topic of "Proposals on Applying International Standards in Governing Water Resources in South Caucasus" was organized. This discussion was held with the participation of the newly-arrived OSCE Consultant for Economic and Ecological Issues, Mr. Torbjorn Bjorvatn. In addition, he gave a report on his mission in Azerbaijan considered for 25 months, as well as his plans for this period.
The conference is held within the Euro-Asian Project on "Protection and Using Transborder Waters", organized by Public Ecological Organization "Ruzgar", under the financial support of the " Eurasia" Foundation.
To study and research the situation on the spot within the above-mentioned project, members of Public Ecological Organization "Ruzgar" took a trip to Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan, and then along the Araks River to the Districts of Imisli, Saatli, Sabirabad of Azerbaijan, as well as along the Kura River from the Western Azerbaijani Town of Gazakh to Neftchala, a small town situated not far from at the mount of the Kura River and coast of the Caspian Sea.