Turkmenistan holds regional forum on Caspian environment

Turkmenistan holds regional forum on Caspian environment

Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, March 12 / Trend H. Hasanov /

A regional seminar entitled 'Caspian Sea - Sustainable Development and Management' is being held at the Turkmen resort city of Awaza in cooperation with the International Ocean Institute (IOI), the state news service Turkmen Dovlet Khabarlary said on Tuesday.

The forum organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and State Enterprise for the Caspian Sea under the President of Turkmenistan is being attended by heads and specialists of ministries, agencies and the environmental institutions of Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, as well as international experts.

International legal norms in the field of exploration and exploitation of oil and gas resources, protection of the marine environment, navigation control and development of maritime trade, transport, ports, ship registration and fishing will be the subjects for discussion in Awaza.

According to a statement, the report submitted by the IOI President Awni Behnam stated that 'decisive conditions for the stability of the global economic system are awareness of all the countries and peoples of the common long term development goals and willingness to work together to implement them'.

The seminar includes topics such as 'The concept of ocean management policies', 'The principles of sustainable development', 'Coastal Zone Management', 'Climate Change', 'Economics of the Sea', 'Imitation of various situations on the example of the Caspian Sea and other seas through specialised BILKO and GIS software ' and 'Marine spatial planning'.

The programme also covers such aspects as the formation of a new model of the world economy which will balance sustainable economic development with social and environmental aspects.

According to the report, a favourable geographical location at the crossroads of the sea, air, road routes and international transport corridors passing through the Eurasian continent, rich hydrocarbon, fish and other natural resources and favourable climatic conditions have turned the Caspian region into a rapidly developing industrial, transport and tourism centre which has an important role in the global economy.

'Alongside, industrialisation leads to environmental and technological problems caused by human activities with cross-border nature. Apart from natural factors, this makes the ecological system of the Caspian Sea and its coastal areas extremely vulnerable', the statement said.

At present, according to regional and international experts' conclusions, the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea is considered the most environmentally friendly which is due to the work conducted systematically and purposefully in this area.

On the first day of the forum, the participants exchanged views on issues relating to the development of the draft convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea as a core document.

The participants, speaking about the importance of summits of the Caspian littoral states held in 2002 in Ashgabat, in 2007 in Tehran and 2010 in Baku, emphasised that each of them marked a significant step in terms of promoting joint efforts to develop good neighbourly relations between the littoral states.

This largely determined the activation of the special working group on the draft convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea which includes representatives from Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan.

Adoption of the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea providing the basis for conducting environmental activities in the Caspian Sea, as well as the Agreement on Security which was signed in November 2010, may be considered as effective steps towards adopting coordinated decisions on various aspects of the Caspian problems.

The international legal framework provided for in these documents has been developed in the protocol concerning Regional Preparedness, Response and Cooperation in Combating Oil Pollution Incidents, signed in August 2011.

The fact of five Caspian states approving the protocol for the Protection of the Caspian Sea against Pollution from land based sources and activities at the fourth meeting of the parties to the Tehran Convention held in December 2012 in Moscow, was also mentioned.

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