On November 13, 2023, the Protocol for the Protection of the Caspian Sea against Pollution from Land-based Sources and Activities to the Tehran Convention (the Moscow Protocol) entered into force. The Moscow Protocol provides a series of measures to prevent, control, reduce and eliminate pollution of the Caspian Sea. It establishes important regulations on emission controls, emission limit values, best environmental practices applied and environmental quality objectives to strive (to download the Moscow Protocol).
The document also enshrines the desire of Caspian countries to pursue the sustainable use of natural resources of the Caspian Sea as integral part of the development process, meeting the needs of present and future generations in an equitable manner. The entering into force and beginning of its implementation is an important stage in restoration and comprehensive protection of the Caspian ecosystem vulnerable to pollution.
“Nature knows no boundaries, and preserving the unique ecosystems of the Caspian Sea, which coastline belongs to five states, is a very difficult task for a Caspian country, acting alone. Therefore, today we are strengthening international cooperation in the Caspian Sea. This is important, among other things, for preserving the populations of red listed animals – the Caspian seal and the saiga, which migrates on sea ice in winter,” Alexander A. Kozlov, Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation, had commented on the completion of the Moscow Protocol ratification.
The Moscow Protocol is already the second protocol to the Tehran Convention entered into force. The first one was the Protocol Concerning Regional Preparedness, Response and Co-operation in Combating Oil Pollution Incidents (the Aktau Protocol), which entered into force in 2016. Negotiations are also currently underway for the fifth protocol to the Tehran Convention (the Protocol on Monitoring, Assessment and Information Exchange).