A draft intergovernmental Agreement on cooperation in the field of scientific research in the Caspian Sea has been put on the agenda of a meeting of authorized representatives of the Caspian states, which is being held in Ashgabat.
Two-day negotiations of experts began on Thursday, February 6, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan. “The Agreement that is being developed is aimed to strengthen cooperation of the Caspian littoral states in the area of scientific activities in the Caspian Sea, to develop and promote ties between scientific institutions,” the Caspian Sea Institute, which is the co-organizer of this meeting, along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education of Turkmenistan, commented on.
Among other proposals, the initiative to develop a pentalateral agreement was put forward by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov at the 5th Caspian Summit in Aktau on August 12, 2018. In his speech at the forum of heads of state of the region, the Turkmen leader expressed his conviction that “all economic activity in the Caspian Sea needs strict scientific accompaniment, should rely on a holistic perception of the natural and anthropogenic processes that are taking place, a monitoring and forecasting system.”
The Turkmen side developed the draft of the Agreement, and the first meeting of authorized representatives of the Caspian states to agree on the text of the project on cooperation in the field of scientific research on the Caspian Sea was held in March 2019 in Ashgabat. It is the second meeting to discuss the draft.
Another initiative of the Turkmen leader, supported by the presidents of all the Caspian littoral states and reflected in the Communiqué on outcomes of the V Caspian Summit, was the holding of the Ist Caspian Economic Forum. It was held in Avaza in August 2019. And Berdimuhamedov again emphasized the special role of science in maintaining the ecological balance of Caspian Sea, the unique biodiversity of sea.
“We would like to see Caspian Sea as a space of cooperation, development and prosperity, free from conflicts and confrontations, a place of unification of the energy of the states, international organizations, business, scientific and technical potential. This is the way we define a strategic perspective calling it a model of future for Caspian Sea,” the President of Turkmenistan said in his speech.
Within the framework of the Ist Caspian Economic Forum, the plenary session “Cooperation in the field of marine scientific research in the Caspian Sea” was held, at which representatives of littoral countries discussed the preconditions and prospects for the development of regional cooperation in this area. The session participants considered the implementation mechanisms of the provisions of the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea and its protocols, intergovernmental agreements in the field of hydrometeorology, conservation and rational use of marine biological resources of the Caspian Sea and other agreements.
The delegates identified ways to strengthen regional capacity for data collection, information management and exchange, and creation of a common monitoring system. The participants of the Forum’s scientific section praised the working out of the draft of pentalateral Agreement on in the field of scientific research in the Caspian Sea, which would become a platform for joint scientific programs.