International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

Caspian Sea - Results

GEF IDS: 596 , 1618 , 3620



Information sources
#596: Results Note (2013), #596: Tracking Tools, #596: UNDP Terminal Evaluation (2007), #1618: Results Note (2013), #3620: GEF4 IW Tracking Tool (2010), #3620: IWC6 Results Note (2011)

Key Basin Project Results
"1. Fostered Inter-sectoral cooperation at national level and multi –state cooperation at regional level towards ecosystem based management of aquatic bio-resources of the Caspian Sea,

2. Strengthened regional environmental governance through finalization of three anciliary protocols to the Tehran Convention, signing of the protocol on oil spill incidents, endorsement of the Strategic Convention Action Program, development of National Convention Action Program(s) and National Public Participation Strategy(s)

3. Assisted the countries to agree to promote existing interagency cooperation to an intergovernmental fisheries management agreement and political commitments to apply ecosystem-based joint actions on sustainable fisheries and bioresources." (#3620, Caspian Sea Governance)

"1. A Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA), Strategic Action Programme (SAP), and National Caspian Action Programs (NCAPs) were all successfully developed.

2. Support was provided leading to the ratification of the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea - also known as the “Tehran Convention.”
3. Outreach to stakeholders was made including NGOs, the oil and gas industry, the media, and the general public." (#596, Caspian Sea Environment)

Results data
Reduced fishing pressure
Year: N/A - Value: NA
technical working groups on ecosystem based management, fish passage and fish spawning grounds are actively working; collation of fisheries related data and field surveys including fish habitats and spawning grounds are being performed by the technical working groups.

Pilot projects on improved hatcheries and gene bank are in progress;
Regional legal agreements and cooperation frameworks
Year: N/A - Value: YES
Instrument: Teheran Convention

GEF Project Results:
The Tehran Convention - Dialogue over the establishment of a Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea (the Tehran Convention) started in 1995. The Convention serves as an overarching legal framework governing cooperation on Caspian environmental and sustainable bioresources management, while binding agreements on specific problems are governed by implementing protocols. Seven regional meetings were held during 1998-2003 to finalize the text, rules of procedures and financial arrangements of the Convention. (#596, Caspian Sea Environment)

"Examples of the Project‘s strengths include the achievements under Objective 3, mainly, the ratification by all 5 Caspian Countries of the Tehran Convention and the development of draft protocols to the Convention, which if ratified by the countries, will pave the way for more significant national-level commitment.

The Tehran Convention - The Tehran Convention was signed on 04 November 2003 and 90 days after the submission of the instrument of ratification by the fifth Contracting Party entered into force on 12 August, 2006." (#1618, Caspian Sea SAP Development)

The institutional and sectoral context at the national level is well established and dominated by Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Ministries or Departments of Environment, Ministries of Agriculture and Fisheries, and various research and monitoring institutions attached to Environment and Fisheries. The main institutional and policy gap at the national is the lack of role clarity in the existing coordination mechanism, in particular with regards to bio-resources management issues in some countries. To enable these different Ministries to work effectively together and bring the environmental issues to the fore, the project, as well as the Convention established national coordination and implementation structures for the implementation of the Convention and its protocols.
The Tehran Convention is a sustainable development convention addressing the priorities and interests of a wide range of government agencies. In order to engage and ensure broad national support and participation in the implementation of the Convention and its protocols, the Strategic Convention Action Programme was endorsed and Biennial Convention Plan of Work ( 2009-2010 and 2010-2011), were implemented. Development of the National Strategic Convention Action Programs (NSCAPs) were initiated. The NSCAPs are being finalized." (#3620, Caspian Sea Governance)
Regional Management Institutions
Year: N/A - Value: YES
Teheran Convention Secretariat
National/Local reforms
Year: N/A - Value: YES
National Caspian Action Programs (NCAPs) - All countries developed an NCAP prepared by national experts and overseen by a national environment committee. Each country had delivered the first drafts of the NCAPs to national fora for close scrutiny by other ministries, NGOs, and members of the public. Each NCAP reflects the issues highlighted in the TDA, and the interventions suggested towards achieving the Environmental Quality Objectives (EQOs). The issues highlighted are comparable between the NCAPs; therefore each country recognises the same national and transboundary issues facing the sustainable management of the Caspian Sea. (#596, Caspian Sea Environment)
Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis: Agreement on transboundary priorities and root causes
Year: N/A - Value: YES
Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis - The TDA was achieved through strong regional input and in a very participatory manner, involving experts from around the region and internationally, in four regional meetings held between July 2000 and November 2001. Caspian Regional Thematic Centres were responsible for generating (through data collection and some limited research) the considerable amount of information within the TDA. It was made available on the CEP website in Russian and English. Through the TDA process, CEP has improved transparency by enabling data to be shared more freely and willingly. (#596, Caspian Sea Environment)
Development of Strategic Action Program (SAP)
Year: N/A - Value: YES
2003 SAP - Strategic Action Programme - The SAP was in the early stages of its development by the end of Phase I. Having set out the issues relating to the sustainable use of the Caspian Sea in the TDA, together with EQOs, the SAP provides continuity to the process by presenting a road map for future policy, legislation, regulatory and investment interventions relating to the management of the environment. It is a synthesis of the major transboundary issues identified in the NCAPs and includes both baseline and incremental interventions. The SAP is a shared plan between all CEP partners and it is therefore essential that it has regional consensus, and focuses on actions and interventions that address realistic political, economic and social constraints. (#596, Caspian Sea Environment)

Strategic Action Programme – The objective in Phase II was to commence implementation of the SAP in the priority areas of Biodiversity, Invasive Species and Persistent Toxic Substances. This included assessment of habitat loss and critically threatened areas, and the establishment of a standardized monitoring methodology. A seal conservation Action Program was developed. Progress was made on the CEP invasive species Action Program in close coordination with the UNDP - GEF GloBallast project to address, in particular, the impact of the ctenophore Mnemiopsis. Assessments were made of Persistent Toxic Chemicals (PTCs, such as persistent organic pollutants, oil products, and heavy metals) in sediments and coastal waters. Finally, a Regional Pollution Monitoring Programme was developed and initiated, and a PTS Regional Action Program was developed. (#1618, Caspian Sea SAP Development)

"INDICATOR # 2- Littoral States Implement Strategic Convention Action Programme (SCAP) as adopted by the COP-II at regional level and approve and implement NSCAP at national/sub-national level.
Updated knowledge-based and enforceable Strategic Convention Action Programme (SCAP) was endorsed by the Caspian Littoral States and National Convention Action Program (NSCAP) for each Caspian littoral state was developed to facilitate national-level implementation of the Tehran Convention and its Protocols. The implementation of the NSCAP will be under the responsibility of each Contracting Party and will be coordinated under the umbrella of the inter-ministerial coordination structure." (#3620, Caspian Sea Governance)