Environmental practices in and around Caspian Sea disastrous

Nov 19, 1998 01:00 AM

The Caspian Sea is under the threat of an environmental crisis resulting from oil exploration and sewage released by the littoral states, Iranian Vice President Masoumeh Ebteka warned.
Ebtekar, who is also head of Iran's Environmental Protection Organisation, told that unfortunately most of the companies active in oil extraction from the Caspian Sea do not bear the interests of the region in mind and are only seeking their own profits.
She underlined that oil drilling in the Caspian Sea must be in accordance with the international environmental standards. The Iranian first female vice president also urged the northern Caspian republics not to pour their untreated urban and industrial sewage into the sea.
The continuation of such practices will cause a major environmental crisis in the world largest inland lake, she warned.
Ebtekar said that Iran, within the framework of the Caspian Sea environment protection plan, is responsible for pollution control of the sea, adding that the required international credit for the project is in the process of being approved.

Reports said that thousands of tons of various chemical substances flow into the sea annually.
Experts have warned that competition among the littoral states in oil exploitation will damage the ecosystem and finally destroy the natural resources in the sea, particularly the sea's caviar, which is well-known as "black pearl."
In May, the UN resident co-ordinator in Iran Michael V.D. Schulenburg announced that the UN Development Program, the European Union and the World Bank have decided to form a Caspian Sea environment protection fund to carry out environmental protection projects in the sea.

Source: not available
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