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Thu, 28/10/2021 - 17:35

Science unites to fight climate change in the Caspian Sea region


A Scientific Conference on 27 and 28 October 2021 brought well over 80 leading scientists from the countries bordering the Caspian Sea together, to take stock and give a boost to research in the region underpinning the climate change policies and actions of Azerbaijan, IR Iran, Kazakhstan, Russian Federation and Turkmenistan.

The Scientific Conference was organized jointly by the (UNEP administered) Secretariat of the (Tehran) Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea and the Co-ordinating Committee on Hydrometeorology and Pollution Monitoring of the Caspian Sea (CASPCOM). Chaired by Dr. Sahar Tajbakhsh, President of the Iranian Meteorological Organization, the two days review of well over 35 selected and presented scientific studies and research resulted in as many recommendations to policy makers and the public at large on how to forestall and prevent irreparable damage to the marine environment of the Caspian Sea and its coastal zones as a consequence of sea level fluctuations, drought and unpredictable patterns of precipitation.

A wide variety of research focusing on the consequences of climate change for the region and its population, on the projected sea level change, the impact on the ecosystem and biodiversity of the Sea and coastal areas, and on the technological and economic changes that need to be made to mitigate and adapt to the changing climatic conditions, passed the revue. It is generally recognized that the largest inland water body on earth with its unique biological diversity features, its wealth of endemic species, its vast reserve of hydrocarbon resources, and its highly praised beautiful coastlines, represents a treasure that needs to be protected and preserved for present and future generations. This recognition has throughout time generated numerous studies and research aimed at managing both natural and human induced risks threatening the health of the Sea and the people depending on it.                    

Understanding the causes and consequences of sea level fluctuation and the impact of climate change on the distribution, reproduction patterns and rate of extinction of endemic species, regulating discharge reservoirs of rivers to optimize  fishing and agriculture efficiency, studying and applying low emission technologies and strategies in oil and gas exploitation, researching and establishing commonly agreed water quality objectives and standards supported by a well-researched and developed marine observation network, and sharing and introducing new climate related research subjects in the curricula of students, are some of the areas of research highlighted at the Conference.

The Conference was welcomed by the Chair of the IPCC and UNEP’s Chief Scientist as a promising step towards the establishment of a network of scientists able and equipped to undertake further climate related research in support of mitigation and adaptation policies which would meet the objectives of the Tehran Convention and feed into the formulation of actionable measures supported by UNEP and IPCC. A Report of the Conference and a separate publication of the scientific abstracts submitted will be prepared and disseminated in the near future.

For information about the Conference please contact the Organizing Committee by e-mail