Caspian Sea 2011
State of the Environment of the Caspian Sea
Coordinating Committee on Hydromete- orology and Pollution Monitoring of the Caspian Sea (CASPCOM) A regional committee of the national agencies aimed at dealing with hydrometeorological ac- tivities—CASPCOM—was established in early the 1990s. The committee encourages regional cooperation on meteorological issues. Initially, the main reason for the establishment of CASP- COM was a perceived need for cooperation in the field of environmental monitoring in order to deal with the negative consequences of the rapid sea level rise in 1980-1990, and the subse- quent flooding of coastal areas. Since 1995, the sea level has changed only marginally. CASP- COM’s role is, however, still important, focusing now on the consequences of the rapid develop- ment of economic activities in the region and in areas of the Caspian Sea. CASPCOM meets regularly, but its achievements have been fairly limited, mostly because its activities lack a re- gional legal and institutional framework (http:// caspcom.com/). The Caspian Environment Pro- gramme (CEP) and CASPCOM maintain an on- going dialogue, but activities are limited due to budgetary constraints, the absence of a legal and institutional framework for CASPCOM, and sectoral rivalry. National-level institutional structures Analyses of national-level institutional struc- tures are based on a questionnaire request- ing Caspian Sea littoral states to list changes or developments in institutional structures at the federal, national or local level that have oc- curred since January 2008—or in some cases, since 2007—in relation to the environment of the Caspian Sea and adjacent coastal areas. The National Caspian Action Plan was also uti- lized in order to analyse latest developments. Azerbaijan: The main party responsible for Caspian environment protection is the Minis- try of Ecology and Natural Resources (MENR). Apart from participating in developing the National Caspian Action Plan, Azerbijan has initiated preliminary activities for a strategic
environmental assessment (SEA) 10 , supported by UNDP and the Environment and Security Initiative. Activities include the analysis of capacity needs, improvement in capacity to perform the SEA and pilot testing of the SEA. Bioresources management is the responsibility of the Department of Protection and Reproduc- tion of Aquatic Bioresources at the MENR. In 2010, there was a reorganization of the depart- ment, aimed at restructuring and strengthening capacities (Questionnaire AZ 2010). The depart- ment represents Azerbaijan in the Commission on Aquatic Resources of the Caspian Sea and prepares and approves quotas for sturgeon and other resources. The department, in cooperation with border troops and police, coordinates the protection of resources and has its own fleet di- vision as well as seven regional offices. Scientific support is provided by the Azerbaijan Fishery Scientific Research Institute. As far as biodiversity is concerned, several new protected areas have been established in re- cent years, but these are not in the Caspian Sea coastal zone. These are Goygol National Park in Dashkasan and Goranboy regions, Korchay State Nature Reserve, and Zagatala State Nature Sanc- tuaries in Zagatala and Balakan regions—all es- tablished in 2008, Arpachay State Nature Sanc- tuaries in Nakhichevan and Sharur region, and Rvarud State Nature Sanctuaries in Lerik region— established in 2009 (http://www.eco.gov.az/en/). The Department of Environmental Protection (MENP) is responsible for pollution control, including solid and liquid wastes monitoring. MENP focuses on nine sectors, which include dangerous wastes, protection of surface water resources, protection of atmospheric condi- tions plus other ecological issues. The labora- tory of the Caspian Complex Environment Mon- 10 Strategic environment assessment (SEA) is “a range of ana- lytical and participatory approaches that aim to integrate envi- ronmental considerations into policies, plans and programmes and to evaluate the inter-linkages with economic and social considerations” (OECD, 2006).
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