Provisions of the Agreements of the Caspian States Taken into Account in the Draft Protocol on Combating Poaching

5 March

The fourth session of authorized representatives of the Caspian states for discussion of the Draft Protocol on Cooperation in Combating against Illegal Extraction of Biological Resources (poaching) in the Caspian Sea was finalised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan.

As it was informed before, specialists from Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan Russian Federation and Turkmenistan took part in the session, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, the Ministry of Industry and Communication of Turkmenistan and the State Department for the Caspian Sea Affairs under the President of Turkmenistan.

Previously, the experts have worked on the Draft Protocol on cooperation of the Caspian States in combating against poaching, which was prepared back in 2015 at the request of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. In this regard, the sessions of authorised representatives of the countries of this region on coordination of the text of the above-mentioned document were regularly held in Ashgabat in 2016-2018.
Authorised representatives of the Caspian states continued to work on the text of the Protocol regarding definition of competent authorities, responsible for the implementation of the document, mechanism and frames of cooperation in the sphere of combating illegal production of biological resources in the Caspian Sea at the fourth session which was held in the Turkmen capital.

International observers say that the Caspian states successfully improve regulatory and legal framework of cooperation. The specialists also note the importance of systematic character of this work. This was brightly indicated by the meeting of the leaders of the Caspian ‘five’.

In November 2010 during the Summit in Baku, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov proposed an initiative on elaboration of two agreements – on response and prevention of emergency situations and protection and rational use of marine biological resources of the Caspian Sea.

The ecology is one of the most important directions of regional cooperation and it is not occasionally that the Framework Convention on Protection of Marine Environment (the Tehran Convention) was the first five-side document, signed in 2003 by the Caspian State. Since then, this date is observed as the Caspian Sea Day.

Turkmenistan pays a great attention to the subjects of protection of unique nature of the Caspian Sea. The ministers of environmental protection authorities of the Caspian states adopted the Protocol on Protection of Biological Diversity of Caspian Sea (the Ashgabat Protocol) at the 5th Conference of the Tehran Convention sides in Ashgabat in May 2014.

A number of agreements including the above-mentioned Agreement on Protection and Rational Use of Marine Biological Resources of the Caspian Sea, which was initiated by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, was signed at the IV Caspian Summit in Astrakhan in September of the same year. In this document, the coastal states have agreed to take all possible measures for combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishery and illegal sale of biological resources and its products.

Therefore, the Draft Protocol on combating poaching, whose text was discussed in detail during two days in Ashgabat, accounts the provisions of a number of agreements, signed previously by the Caspian state, namely the Agreement in Security Sphere, Convention on Legal Status of the Caspian Sea, the Tehran Convention and the Agreement on Protection and Rational Use of the Marine biological Resources of the Caspian Sea.

Two other important documents, whose elaboration was initiated by the President of Turkmenistan at the previous summit in Astrakhan were signed at V Caspian Summit in Aktau on August 12, 2018. These Agreements are agreements in the field of trade, economic and transport cooperation in the Caspian Sea. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov proposed to hold the first Caspian Economic Forum in Turkmenistan in 2019 for the implementation of the signed documents.

The heads of Caspian states note the necessity of completion of the coordination of the Protocol on cooperation in combating against illegal production of biological resources, which is to support the protection of fish reserves of the Caspian Sea and counteract against the poaching in the Communique, signed by the outcomes of the summit in Aktau.

Being the host country of the next VI Summit, Turkmenistan makes available all conditions for the fulfilment of previous agreements and development of new documents.

It is being planned to hold a number of sessions and events on the Caspian subject in Ashgabat in the next few days.