Convention >> Entry into force
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Entry of the Framework Convention into force
Following the ratification of the Tehran Convention by all five Governments of the Caspian littoral states, the Convention entered into force on the 12th August 2006. A ceremony to celebrate the entering into force was organized by the Government of I.R. of Iran inviting Caspian ambassadors and representative from the Ministries of Environment to Tehran. During the ceremony a proposal was put forward to declare the 12th August as the regional Caspian Day marking the importance of the Tehran Convention as the overarching legal instrument for environmental protection in the Caspian region. The proposal was supported by the CEP Steering Committee which at its meeting in December 2006 suggested August 12th as the Caspian Day and requested all the countries to celebrate this day and make an effort to include the same in their official calendars.
Ratification has been finalized in an almost record time, an indication of the keen interest of the riparian countries. Ratification has been timely and needed in view of the increasing threats to the environment of the Caspian Sea region, posed by sea level fluctuations, land based sources of pollution, over fishing, oil and gas exploration and extraction, and the introduction of invasive species. The ratification has been a millstone in the history of the Caspian given the challenges linked to understanding the threats and maximizing the potential for development of the region in a way, which is environmentally sound and sustainable in the long run. Solution oriented dialogue and cooperation is at the heart of this and a precondition for success. A Tehran convention in force offers a unique platform for making collective commitments and achieving results.
The signing of the Tehran Convention represents a real momentum in cooperation between the countries bordering the Caspian Sea. Its entry into force has opened the way for a first Ministerial meeting of the Conference of Parties, which can instruct and oversee environmental cooperation and stage actual improvements on the ground. Both the developers and the inhabitants of the Caspian Sea region should feel inspired to join and support the important work ahead. Protection of the environment of the Caspian Sea is essentially a task for the real owners, that are the states and the people of the riparian countries.
The First Conference of Parties to the Framework Convention (COP I) is planned for 23-25 of May in Baku.
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