The second meeting of authorized representatives of the Caspian littoral states has ended in the capital. It discussed a Draft Intergovernmental Agreement on Scientific Research Cooperation in the Caspian Sea.

Co-organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Caspian Sea Institute and the Ministry of Education, the meeting was attended by representatives of relevant ministries and agencies of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Turkmenistan.

The Draft Agreement, which is set to establish a legal framework of scientific research cooperation between the region’s countries, is being worked out on the initiative of the head of Turkmenistan, who proposed it at the Fifth Caspian Summit in the Kazakh city of Aktau in August 2018.

As the Turkmen leader pointed out, there is a need today for all economic activities in the Caspian Sea to be rigorously evaluated and scientifically grounded. They should be organized into an integrated whole with a glance to ongoing natural and man-induced processes, monitoring and forecasting.

Speaking at last year’s First Caspian Economic Forum in the Avaza National Tourist Zone, the head of state Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov re-emphasized the importance of the issue, having identified the reliance on science and intellectual potential as a determining factor in the Caspian region’s successful economic development, its integration into world economic relations as a competitive and budding player.

Advocating a new Caspian Ecological Program focused on a series of conservation measures to preserve and sustainably use the Sea’s abundant natural resources, the President of Turkmenistan noted that the Program could also monitor the environmental situation in the Caspian Sea and outline specific recommendations for the littoral states’ governments.

A special thematic session of the Caspian Economic Forum centered on fostering regional cooperation in marine scientific research. The attendees discussed various aspects of the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea and the Protocols to it, intergovernmental agreements in the field of hydrometeorology, preservation and rational use of marine biological resources in the Caspian Sea, and other agreements. In this context, particular emphasis was placed on strengthening regional potential for collecting, managing and exchanging data as well on building a common monitoring system.

One of the main topics the designated experts from Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Turkmenistan addressed was the incorporation of key provisions contained in international agreements into the Draft Agreement on Scientific Research Cooperation in the Caspian Sea. The parties had a detailed and meaningful exchange of opinions, during which each of them submitted their proposals to reach a consensus on all the issues.

As highlighted, close relations between academic circles and leading research institutes are seen as an integral part of the multifaceted collaboration among the coastal nations. Once adopted, the new Agreement will be yet another practical step in developing and managing the marine resources as well as ensuring environmental protection of the Caspian Sea.

Appreciative to the Turkmen side for the efficiently-organized and well-run meeting, the foreign delegations spoke for continuing the constructive dialogue for greater cooperation.