Environment – Current Issues:
The total area of Azerbaijan lies within the basin of the Caspian Sea. This means that all activities and initiatives influencing the Azerbaijani natural environmental will also have an influence on the environment of the Caspian Sea. The eastern part of the country leads out to the Caspian Sea with a shoreline of 825km.
The country is currently experiencing economic growth, urbanization and population growth. These trends are mainly expected to take place in the most densely populated area, the Absheron Peninsula leading out to the Caspian Sea. The coastal areas, including the Absheron Peninsula, have during the last decades experienced dramatic flooding, and it is expected that a rise in the Caspian sea level will lead to even more areas being flooded in the future.
The Azerbaijani territory of the sea entails significant oil and gas reserves, which is highly important for the national economy. The exploitation of these reserves entails however a need for environmental protection. Such needs are increasingly being meet by the implementation of national initiatives for environmental protection.
National concerns related to the Caspian Sea not only involve the risk of, and damages from, flooding or the impacts from the oil and gas production but also the decline of biodiversity, the pollution from municipal and industrial wastes and wastewater as well as emission of harmful gases.
Environment – International Agreements:
Party to: Air Pollution (UNECE-CLRTAP), Biodiversity (CBD), Climate Change (UNFCCC), Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol (KP), Desertification (CCD), Endangered Species (CITES), Hazardous Wastes (Basel Convention), Marine Dumping (MARPOL), Ozone Layer Protection (Montreal Protocol), Ship Pollution, Wetlands (Ramsar Convention)
Signed but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Sources: National Caspian Action Plan of the Republic of Azerbaijan (2007-2017), 2007 and the Second National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 2010 , Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources