Caspian Sea 2011


CEP, supported by the littoral states with participation of the European Union (EU), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the World Bank, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), has been the main driving force behind many im- portant initiatives. CEP has addressed multiple environmental issues by developing an effective coordinated management structure which in- cludes regional thematic centres, strategic and national action plans and various transnational measures such as the Transboundary Diagnos- tic Analysis, joint monitoring activities and im- plementation of educational programmes. At present, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) supports Restoring Depleted Fisheries and Consolidation of a Permanent Regional Environmental Governance Framework or the CASPECO project (2009-2012). The objective of the project is to strengthen regional environ- mental governance and apply new thinking to the sustainable management and conservation of the Caspian’s bioresources (UNDP 2004). The project has two main components: the first—“Economy-Based Management of Aquatic Bioresources”—focuses on the intro- duction of ecosystem-based management by establishing new analytical tools, initiating a cohesive monitoring programme and increas- ing capacity in bioresource governance and management. It seeks to make recommenda- tions on ballast water regional management and to establish a regional Mnemiopsis control process. Pilot projects aimed at improving the efficiency of hatcheries and rehabilitating or expanding natural spawning grounds for dia- dromous fish species are also being imple- mented. Stakeholders are involved through a Special Protection Area (SPA) network of well- established protected areas around the Caspi- an Sea. A modest matching grant programme will continue to finance small-scale invest- ment projects in local communities.

The second component in the project— “Strengthened Regional Environmental Govern- ance”—aims to support the Tehran Convention and its protocols at the national and regional levels. Apart from institutional support and coor- dination, the project seeks to engage stakehold- ers and improve public access to information on the Caspian Sea environment, involving NGOs and creating information-sharing mechanisms through a web-based Caspian Information Centre. The pro- ject also aims to coordinate the project with other Caspian Sea initiatives, including promoting part- nership with the private sector. This component of the project also helps the update and imple- mentation of the Strategic Convention Action Plan (SCAP) at a regional level, and the National Strate- gic Caspian Action Plan at a national level. The International Commission on Aquatic Resources of the Caspian Sea The International Commission on Aquatic Re- sources of the Caspian Sea (ICARCS) was created by four littoral states in 1992. The objective of the Commission was to regulate fisheries in the Cas- pian Sea region by defining the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and distributing the catch quota re- garding major commercial fish species (sturgeon, kilka, seals) between the countries concerned. The Commission also coordinates conservation activi- ties and the sustainable use of Caspian aquatic bi- oresources. The Commission supports scientific cooperation and data exchange and coordinates scientific research. The Commission constituted four countries until 2003, and was then joined by Iran. The Commission accepts the methodol- ogy proposed by specialists at the Caspian Fishery Research Institute ( КаспНИРХ ) in order to calcu- late distribution quotas between countries. The methodology is based on the contribution of each country to species reproduction, including volume of freshwater inflow, number of fingerlings from natural spawning grounds, number of released fin- gerlings from hatcheries, habitat feeding grounds and resources, as well as other indicators. The Commission meets twice a year and works under a two-year rotating chairmanship of each country.


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