Kazakh expert: Framework convention for protection of marine environment of Caspian Sea does not work
Kazakhstan, Astana, Oct. 31 / Trend D. Mukhtarov /
Chairman of the Kazakh Environmental Union of Associations and Enterprises Tabigat (Nature), Mels Eleusizov believes that the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea does not work.
"I believe that the Convention on the Caspian Sea does not fully work and all meetings on the sea are just talks," Eleusizov said during a multimedia teleconference Moscow - Baku - Astana on 'Ecology of the Caspian Sea - Problems and Solutions'.
He said that the main threat to the Caspian Sea is oil production. The problem with the protection of its environment has been underestimated by Caspian littoral countries nowadays.
"It should be recalled that the Caspian Sea is a large lake, rather than the Gulf of Mexico," he said. "The Caspian Sea will not be purified in case of contamination."
He added that it is necessary to close old oil wells that are dangerous. Funds must be made available. He recalled that during the Soviet period the Caspian Sea was a prohibited area, but active oil production began after oil reserves were discovered.
"There was an accident in the Tengiz field in the Soviet period," he said. "The well has been burning for 14 months. We faced difficulty while extinguishing it with the help of other countries."
He added that environmental assessment was conducted after the accident on the Tengiz.
"We were surprised that there is no protection for the Caspian Sea," he said. 'While developing Kashagan, thousands of kilometres of pipes have been laid. Around 40 islands were created. If an accident happens, it will be impossible to extinguish it."
The expert also said that there is still a problem of preserving sturgeon and protecting Caspian seals.
"There are many problems and they will not be solved until society, the Caspian littoral countries and their leaders thoroughly resolve the problem with the Caspian Sea," he added.