TEHRAN, July 14 (Mehr News Agency) -- Experts from the Caspian Sea littoral states are to get together in Almaty, Kazakhstan today in order to work out a legal mechanism for the protection of the sea’s ecosystem.

According to the daily Tehran Times, experts from Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan, as well as United Nations representatives will discuss ecological situation at the Caspian Sea meeting..


The meeting will approve the final version of a draft convention on the environmental protection of the Caspian Sea, which will be accordingly submitted for signing to the governments of the Caspian Sea countries.


Reviewing the comprehensive plan for the Caspian Sea Convention dates back to the meeting of the five littoral states in Tehran in 1992. The plan was also ratified by the United Nation's Environment Protection Program. Preservation of the Caspian Sea resources, effects of human activities on the sea, main legal issues and commercial resources of the Caspian Sea were envisaged in the plan.


However, it seems that some of the littoral states' rivalry encouraged and supported by foreign countries that have invested capitals in the continental shelf oil industry is an obstacle to the preservation of the ecosystem and environment of the world's largest lake.


Oil exploitations carried out by some foreign companies, negligence on part of some of the littoral states regarding the Caspian Sea environment protection, and discharging the countries' industrial and non-industrial sewage into the sea with a view to its landlocked feature have multiplied the pollution and the environmental problems of the sea.


In recent years, the worldwide renown Caspian Sea sturgeon stocks have been devastated by soaring world caviar demand, pollution and the legal free-for-all which the break-up of the Soviet Union unleashed on the Caspian Sea.


The five Caspian countries -- Iran plus ex-Soviet Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan -- have yet to finally agree on how to achieve a comprehensive fair legal regime of the sea.


As earlier proposed by Iran during the meeting of the Caspian Sea littoral states in Tehran in 1992, the formation of the littoral states’ cooperation union would definitely resolve much of the problems facing the establishment of the Caspian Sea legal regime.


The union would also help prevent the Caspian Sea environment to reach a crisis point. Furthermore, the union would considerably reduce the interference of the alien countries and their affiliated companies in the region. And this would help tackling the economic, legal and environmental issues facing the sea.








News Code 708

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