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Oil and gas exploration in the Eastern Caspian – a blessing or a threat? Launch of ENVSEC assessment report

Tehran – Brussels – Almaty - 11-18.11.2008

New report: Environment & Security in the Eastern Caspian region: Transforming Risks into Cooperation

A new report by the Environment and Security Initiative states that the rapid development and exploration of oil and gas in the Eastern Caspian region poses a potential threat to both environment and security.

The Eastern Caspian region is changing and undergoing fast development linked in particular to increased oil and gas exploration in Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. Historically, The Caspian Sea region has produced oil and natural gas, but the region is considered to have large resources of oil and gas capable of much greater production. The geopolitical centre of gravity has shifted east, and the sleepy provinces along the Eastern Caspian shoreline are waking up to a new dawn, new opportunities and new risks.

What are the impacts of these tremendous dynamics on the environment? Can environmental issues such as pollution on land and sea, desertification, species extinction be a threat to security?

In a context where fossil fuels are of paramount importance for the global economy, energy policy is a key area in which stakes for both the environment and security are very high. Stable energy supply becomes a matter of national security and the centre of geopolitical interests. The drive towards energy security and away from extreme energy dependence can have both positive and negative local and global environmental effects depending on which resources, solutions and technologies are prioritized.

The report considers the role and impact of environmental factors in securing human safety and sustained development of the eastern Caspian Sea region, including the parts of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan opening onto the Caspian Sea. Furthermore, the analysis introduces a security perspective as it seeks to identify those environmental, socio-economic and political issues that are profoundly affecting the livelihoods of the populations and could lead to social tensions and instability.

Environmental issues on sea and land can grow into real security threats. People depending on nature for their livelihoods, in particular fisheries, but to a large extent also agriculture, are directly affected by increased exploration. In addition, there is a concrete health threat of people exposed to contamination both from industrial-military legacies and accumulation of waste and current activities.

The report also looks into the potential impacts of climate change on the vulnerable ecosystem of the Caspian Sea and on the region’s potential for tourism as a growing and real opportunity for sustainable development of the coastal zone.

> ENVSEC Eastern Caspian assessment report in English
> доклад ENVSEC по восточному побережью Каспия по-русски



Waste trafficking, Pripyat water, focus on the media: news from Eastern Europe

Odesa - Donetsk - Kyiv - 07.11.2008

OSCE workshop on the detection of waste trafficking brought together environmental, border and customs authorities in Odesa in August, followed by a second meeting just completed in Kyiv. A report is available from a Belarus - Ukrainian expedition facilitated by UNEP in summer 2008 to design water allocation plan between the upper Pripyat river and the Dnieper-Buh canal. And October events in Donetsk and Kyiv put in focus media coverage of ENVSEC-related problems. New information in the Eastern European section of the web site.


ENVSEC Central Asia Newsletter - also in RUSSIAN



 ENVSEC Central Asia Newsletter August 2008 (ENG)
 ENVSEC Central Asia Newsletter August 2008 (RUS)


Information Bulletin for South Caucasus


The first edition of ENVSEC information bulletin for the South Caucasus covers events in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia between April - July 2008, as well as providing more information on future plans.

 South Caucasus information bulletin


ENVSEC Central Asia Regional Review Meeting

Dushanbe, Tajikistan - 22.07.2008

ENVSEC held a Regional Review meeting in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on 21 June 2008. Objectives, proceedings and conclusions of the meeting can be found in the attached meeting report.

 Regional Review meeting report


Information bulletin and updated work programme for Eastern Europe


The 3d edition of ENVSEC information bulletin for Eastern Europe covers events in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine between November 2007 and April 2008, as well as future plans. Based on discussions, per-project consultations, and the completion of a number of projects in 2007, the ENVSEC work programme for Eastern Europe has been updated to reflect the current situation and is also available online.

 ENVSEC Eastern Europe bulletin 3 (april) / 2008
 ENVSEC work programme for Eastern Europe (per april 2008)


ENVSEC Work Programme for Central Asia updated




Launch of ENVSEC assessment in Ukraine

Kyiv and Donetsk - 26-27.02.2008

ENVSEC assessment report and work programme for Eastern Europe was presented in a joint launch with UNECE's 2nd Environmental Performance Review of Ukraine. More than 100 participants, including officials, media, business and NGOs, attended the presentations in Ukraine's capital Kyiv and in the heart of industrial Donbas region. Lively discussions among the participants covered topics such as strategic planning and international environmental cooperation, air pollution, water management, waste and land resources. Media coverage included news features on national and local TV channels (Tonis, STB, UTR, 24 in Kyiv; 27 and 1st Municipal channels in Donetsk), radio "Era FM" and in press. Meeting presentations and materials will be published in the Eastern European section of the ENVSEC web site.

Selected coverage:

- Ukraine's Ministry of Environment Protection (Ukrainian)
- Donetsk Oblast Department of Environment Protection (Ukrainian)
- "The Day" (Ukrainian / Russian / English)

Other resources:

 Ukrinform news (Ukrainian)
 Opening by the Deputy Minister of Environment Protection I. D. Makarenko (Ukrainian)




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