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 Press release - The CEPs "At Sea Training Programme" (UNDP CEP)

 Press release date: 08.10.2000

Programme Coordination Unit
Room 108, 3rd entrance
Government Building
40 Uzeir Hadjibeyov St.
Baku 370016, Azerbaijan
Tel.: +994 12 97 17 85
         +994 12 93 80 03
Fax: +994 12 97 17 86

The CEPs "At Sea Training Programme"

In October 2000 regional Caspian Environmental Programme (CEP) * and thematic center for "Effective Regional Assessment of Contamination Level (ERACL), established within the CEP and located in Iran, plan to conduct At Sea Training Programme (ASTP). One of the main focuses of CEP is identification of priority transboundary issues of the Caspian basin and production of a Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) of Caspian. ASTP is the part of this programme. Primary objectives of ASTP are to conduct a limited regional contamination assessment in order to fill the gaps in TDA, and training of regional experts in monitoring and assessment of background pollution of Caspian. ASTP will be implemented in two cruises to be undertaken simultaneously.

First cruise will take place in the shallow Northern Caspian and the second in the deeper cental and southern part of Caspian Sea. Three specialized vessels will be involved in the expedition: "Mamed Suleymanov" (Azerbaijan), "Hydrokhimik" (Russia) and "Researcher of Caspian" (Russia). The total duration of studies and training will be approximately 23 days. Sampling will be made both at "hot spots" and at intermediate stations, along coastline of the Caspian. Implementation of ASTP will commence with a workshop on sampling preparation and techniques and followed by two day long training cruises in the Baku Bay area on October 9 and 10. The expeditions from Azerbaijan and Russia will begin simultaneously on October 11 and end on October 31st.

The At Sea Training Programme will include pilot work on monitoring of background pollution, definition of contamination levels, studies of sampling, processing, storage, analysis, methodologies and quality control, and data management.

Studies will include sampling and identification of:

  • Tonal Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH), including Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) in sediments, selected biota;
  • Chlorinated Hydrocarbons CNC (DDT and its derivatives, Lindan, Dieldrin etc.);
  • Micro-metals (TM),
  • Identification of biogenic elements in seawater, including nitrates, nitrites, phosphates, silicates in sediments.

Studies will also include standard meteorological measurements, measurement of water temperature, electrical conductivity / salinity from sea surface to bottom, and chlorophyll measurements.

The Project Coordination Unit in Baku, Azerbaijan and ERACL in Tehran, I.R.Iran will review all processed data, while it will be used later for preparation of TDA.

Specialists on physical oceanography, marine biology and marine chemistry from Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran, and also scientists experts from Laboratory for Marine Environment Laboratory (Monaco), Marine- Hydro physical Institute (Ukraine), Marine Science Institute (Turkey), Zoological Institute of Kazakhstan Academy of Science and the Department for Environment of I.R.Iran will participate in the expedition.

Funding of ASTP is allocated from the budget of the Caspian Environmental Programme. However, requests for co-funding have been sent to offices of Exxon/Mobil, Agip, Elf-Total and BP in Azerbaijan. Presently, CEP received an official confirmation of a donation from BP for $25,000. OKIOC (Offshore Kazakhstan Operation Company) undertakes an expedition in the Kazakh part of the Caspian and have agreed to make results available to CEP. Agip also agreed to make results of their recent survey available. Total budget of the expedition and analysis is $300.000

Please, for further information contact:

Vladimir Vladimirov, the Caspian Environment Programme, Programme Coordination Unit, Room 108, Government Building, 40 Uzeir Gadjibekov Street, Baku 370016 Azerbaijan,
Phone: + (99412) 97 17 85, 93 80 03
Fax: + (99412) 97 17 86

Elina Farmanova, the Caspian Environment Programme, Programme Coordination Unit, Room 108, Government Building, 40 Uzeir Gadjibekov Street, Baku 370016 Azerbaijan,
Phone: + (99412) 97 17 85, 93 80 03
Fax: + (99412) 97 17 86

* Caspian Environmental Programme (CEP) is a regional programme established by Caspian states and assisted by international organizations and designed for regional cooperation. Presently, CEP is a regional programme uniting all Caspian states and many international organizations, including World Bank, UNEP, UNDP and European Union/Tacis (EU/Tacis)

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