Regions and network

UNEPGEFUniversity of Kalmar
Region 23: Caspian Sea

The Caspian Sea Regional Report »

Focal Point Co-ordinator
Prof. Felix Stolberg
Head of Env. Engineering and Management Department
Kharkov State Academy of Municipal Economy
Address: Ukraine, 61002
Kharkov, Revolutzii St.12
Phone/fax: +380 (572)379055
Mobile: +380 (50) 323 06 22
Prof. Felix Stolberg
Assiatant coordinator
Dr. Olena Borysova
Kharkov State Academy of Municipal Economy
Dr. Olena Borysova

  • Major intergovernmental agreements and actors
  • Action programmes, strategies, and research
  • State of the regional environment
  • GEF Projects in the region
  • Other actors and initiatives

    Major intergovernmental agreements and actors

    Caspian Sea Environment Programme
    The Caspian Environment Program (CEP) was launched in April 1995 as a regional seas program by the five littoral states (Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, and Turkmenistan) in co-operation with the World Bank, UNDP, and UNEP. The program supports measures to improve environmental quality and to efficiently manage the bioresources of the Caspian Sea. Program
    me components will focus on developing national policies to reduce the pollution load of the Caspian Basin by clearly defining priorities and preparing investment projects, establishing a system of monitoring regional pollution with data banks, developing a strategy for a sustainable sturgeon yield, improving the management of coastal zone and wetland areas, protecting marine mammals, and strengthening institutional capacity at the local, national, and regional levels. See information on the Caspian Sea and the programme (and other projects), general information on the Caspian Sea as well as on governance, national focal points, and stakeholders.

    UN Economic Commission for Europe, ECE
    The Environment and Human Settlements Division is part of the secretariat of the UN ECE. It brings together economists, scientists, urban planners and other experts, and organizes the regular intergovernmental meetings of the Committee on Environmental Policy, the Executive Body for the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution, the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes and the Committee on Human Settlements. At these meetings, government representatives from Europe, North America, Central Asia and Israel address environmental and human settlements issues, such as environmental impact assessment, air and water pollution, urban renewal or land registration.

    Financial institutions

    European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, EBRD
    The bank finances projects in three country groups (Central Europe; Russia and Central Asia; Southern and Eastern Europe and the Caucasus) and three s
    ectors: Financial Institutions; Infrastructure; and Industry and Commerce. The infrastructure group of projects contains four issues: Municipal and environmental infrastructure; Transport; Power and energy utilities; and Energy efficiency. The EBRD is directed by its Agreement to "promote in the full range of its activities environmentally sound and sustainable development", thereby being the first international financial institution to have been given such a proactive environmental mandate by its founders.

    European Investment Bank, EIB
    The European Union's financing and long-term lending institution. The EIB is mandated to conduct operations in: the Central and Eastern European Countries and certain Mediterranean Countries which have applied for membership of the EU; the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership Countries; the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP), South Africa and the OCT; Asia and Latin America; the Western Balkans. Within the European Union, projects considered for EIB financing must contribute to a number of set objectives, including the preservation of the natural and urban environment. Outside the Union, the Bank participates in implementing the Union's development aid and cooperation policies through long-term loans from own resources or subordinated loans and risk capital from EU or Member States' budgetary funds.


    Action programmes, strategies and research

    Caspian Regional Thematic Centre (CRTC): Biodiversity
    Caspian Regional Thematic Centres were developed within existing institutions having the best available regional expertise in selected thematic areas. They are responsible for: development of a work plan and implementation of activities in their respective thematic area, regional coordination within area of competency, relevant regional recommendation development, guidance and strategy within area of competency, assistance in development of the TDA and PIP, and assistance in development of the National Caspian Action Plans (NCAP) and the Strategic Action Programme (SAP). One of the CRTCs work with biodiversity issues.See for example the Caspian Biodiversity Network.

    The principal objectives of the CASPAS programme, endorsed by the Hydrometeorological Departments of all countries of the region, are:

    • To set up a regional system for collection and exchange of information on air and water conditions and on environmental pollution and other environmental parameters in the Caspian Region;
    • To carry out a comprehensive investigation of changes in the level of the Caspian Sea, as well as of environmental pollution in the region, and to assess and forecast the impact of those two factors on the regions environment.

    Tacis Regional Seas Programme
    The Tacis Regional Seas Programme supports the Black Sea Environment Programme, the Caspian Sea Environment Programme and the Danube River Basin Programme. Caspian Sea partner organisation include Ministries of Environment in Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and their nominated Regional Caspian Advisory Groups. The Tacis Caspian Sea Environment Programme has been developed in close cooperation with the World Bank. It is planned to support the bio-resources network, and catalyse urgent investment into the region by the World Bank, other international financial institutions and donors. Given the devastating oil pollution (particularly in Azerbaijan, and flooded areas) and the threat of sturgeon becoming extinct, action is all the more important and concomitant with the need to ensure the sustainable development of Caspian Sea fossil fuel resource production and enhance TRACECA. Tacis will provide specific logistical, management and marketing support to set up four Regional thematic advisory groups, one centred in each littoral country. The GEF is financing the participation of the group in Iran, and the PCU. Focal areas are expected to cover coping with the fluctuating sea level, biodiversity, pollution monitoring, and sustainable sturgeon/fisheries management.


    State of the regional environment

    National Reports on the State of the Caspian Environment
    These reports are available and can be downloaded in zipped or .doc form for all Caspian countries:

    Azerbaijan, oil, and sustainable development in Azerbaijan
    Article about "ecocide of the Caspian Sea" by scientists at College of Geosciences, Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University.

    The Caspian
    Web site compiled by the University of Washington, Evan School of Public Affairs. Contains articles on, e.g., "Challenges of environmental protection" and "Sustainability issues".

    Caspian Sea Region: Environmental Issues
    General information on the Caspian Sea environment, compiled by the US Energy Information Administration.

    GEO 2000 State of the Environment: Europe and Central Asia

    Global Enviroment Outlook 2000. GEO is:

    • a global environmental assessment process, the GEO Process, that is cross-sectoral and participatory. It incorporates regional views and perceptions, and builds consensus on priority issues and actions through dialogue among policy-makers and scientists at regional and global levels.
    • GEO outputs, in printed and electronic formats, including the GEO Report series. This series makes periodic reviews of the state of the world's environment, and provides guidance for decision-making processes such as the formulation of environmental policies, action planning and resource allocation. Other outputs include technical reports, a web site and a publication for young people.

    GEF Projects in the region

    Projects under implementation

    UNEP - GEF - International waters:
    Implementation of Shared Water Management in full Strategic Action Programmes (SAP) for the Caspian Sea

    This project represents the GEF contribution to the Caspian Environment Programme (CEP), a regional programme funded by the five riparian countries, GEF,UNEP, and others. The goals of this GEF project are the development of a regional coordination mechanism, completion of a Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis of priority water-related environmental issues, formulation of a Strategic Action Programme and National Action Plans for sustaining the Caspian and its associated natural resources.

    UNDP/UNEP/World Bank - GEF - International waters:
    Addressing Transboundary Environmental Issues in the Caspian Environment Programme

    The project would identify priority transboundary issues and country-specific actions to address those issues as part of the Caspian Environment Programme (CEP). The CEP is a regional program funded by riparian countries, GEF, UNEP, The World Bank, and other donors and the project represents a joint, collaborative effort among the three implementing agencies and the participating countries. The overall goal of the CEP is environmentally sustainable development and management of the Caspian environment, including living resources and water quality. The ultimate goals of the proposed initiative are: (a) the development of a regional coordination mechanism through institutional framework, capacity building, public awareness, stakeholder involvement; (b) completion of a Transboundary Diagnosis Analysis (TDA) of priority transboundary water-related environmental issues to guide prioritization for actions and investments; (c) formulation and endorsement of a Strategic Action Programme (SAP) and National Action Plans as the basis for prioritizing actions to be taken.


    Other actors, initiatives and resources


  • Global International Waters Assessment, GIWA
    SE- 391 82 Kalmar, Sweden
    Phone: +46- 480 44 60 00. Fax: +46- 480 44 73 55.

    page last modified on 22 August 2006