Key Protocol Signed at Caspian Environmental Conference

Moscow (Russian Federation), 12 December 2012 - The Caspian countries have reached another crucial milestone by adopting and signing one more protocol to the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea (Tehran Convention) - The Protocol for the Protection of the Caspian Sea against Pollution from Land-based Sources and Activities (LBSA Protocol).

From 10-12 December 2012, Ministers and high-level government representatives of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Russian Federation, the Republic of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan met in Moscow for the Fourth Meeting of the Convention’s Conference of the Parties (COP4). The COP was hosted by the Government of the Russian Federation and included representatives from the European Union, UNEP, UNDP, IMO, FAO, and other international observers. This remarkable progress follows the 2011 adoption and signing of the Aktau Protocol on Regional Preparedness, Response and Cooperation in Combating Oil Pollution Incidents, at COP3 in Kazakhstan.

The Caspian environmental process, supported for many years by UNDP, GEF, the European Union and other international donors, led to the signing of the landmark Tehran Convention in 2003 and its entry into force in August 2006. This resulted in increasing cooperation amongst the five Caspian states and comes at a crucial time when the Caspian region is witnessing unprecedented growth in oil and gas exploration, exploitation and transportation.

The signing of the LBSA Protocol in Moscow is an important step forward in the process as it addresses one of the major ecological threats to the Caspian environment and aims to safeguard coasts and waters from the detrimental effects of pollution from land-based sources such as agriculture, industry and urban settlements.

The Moscow COP further laid the groundwork for implementing a sound environmental monitoring and reporting programme in the region, providing for harmonized and regular information and data exchange between the countries.

Assessing the progress achieved by the Caspian States throughout the years, and in particular at COP4, the UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director Mr. Achim Steiner reiterated that: ’Environmental cooperation is an essential basis for the overall economic and social development of the region, a crucial first step on the road to a green economy, equitable management of resources, and a sustainable future for all Caspian states.’

See online : UN News Center

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