Caspian Sea 2011

State of the Environment of the Caspian Sea

use change, resource extraction, emissions of pollutants and waste, as well as modification and movement of organisms). These pressures lead to changes in the State of the environment (e.g. climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion, changes in biodiversity and pollution or degrada- tion of air water and soils), which are in addition to those resulting from natural processes. These changes affect the ecological services that the environment provides to people, such as the provision of clean air and water, food, and protec- tion from ultraviolet radiation, as well as impacts on other aspects of the environment itself, includ- ing land degradation, the quality and quantity of habitats, and biodiversity. As a result of changes in ecological services, driven by demographic, so- cial and economic factors, Impacts on the envi- ronment and human well-being are expected. The impact is usually indicated by health, economic performance, material assets, good social rela- tions and security. Societal Responses can influence the environ- mental state and their associated drivers and pressures (either intentionally or unintention- ally). Societal responses essentially fall under two categories: responses directed at mitigating exposure to environmental impacts (e.g., through environmental restoration and enhancement); and responses that help society adapt directly to the impacts that occur and/or build the capacity to adapt to changes in the environment. Societal responses include formulating and implementing public policy, laws and establishing/strengthen- ing institutions, as well as promoting advances in science and technology. The exposure to changes in various environmental states, combined with the ability of society to adapt to these changes, determines the degree to which people are vulnerable or are resilient to environmen- tal change (UNEP and IISD 2008). The SoE of the Caspian Sea Report, structured according to the DPSIR framework, includes chapters addressing driving forces referring to

fundamental processes in society, pressures focusing on human interventions in the envi- ronment, the current state of the environment based on a set of indicators, impact analyses of the influence of environmental factors on human well-being, and concludes with a chapter on re- sponses, assessing possible policy actions, in particular, adaptation and mitigation. The SoE of the Caspian Sea Report is based on recent assessment reports published in the last 5 years, from 2005 onwards. In cases of irregu- lar reporting, priority is given to data starting from 2000. In this light, the SoE Report analyses both editions of the Transboundary Diagnostic Analyses (TDA); a number of recent documents and reports such as the Caspian Water Quality Monitoring and Action Plan, a monitoring pro- gramme supported by the European Commis- sion; the WB-CASPECO Study on Economics of Bioresources Utilization; the Caspian Vital Graphics: Opportunities, Aspirations, and Chal- lenges; UNDP and HDR country reports; presen- tations of the first investment forum in Baku; WB case studies on environmental economic evalua- tion; findings of Leeds University and AGIP KCO on Caspian seals; the IOC report on the Caspi- an Sea, and the questionnaires collected from countries in August, 2010.


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