One of the main issues receiving special attention is the environmental concerns and preservation of biodiversity in the Caspian Sea, Rashid Meredov, Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, said in his speech at the conference "Caspian Sea - Sea of Peace and Friendship" in Turkmenistan's Avaza National Tourist Zone, on Saturday, according to the Press Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan.
The significant decrease in the sea level over considerable distances, particularly in recent years, is a matter of serious concern. This is attributed to climate processes that affect precipitation and evaporation in the Caspian Sea basin, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan stressed.
Rashid Meredov emphasized that over the past 25 years, the sea level has decreased by almost 2 meters, reaching the lowest values in the entire observation history. This leads to the sea retreating over significant distances, and such changes are particularly noticeable in recent years. The coastline is receding by hundreds of meters, with even higher figures in the northern part of the Caspian Sea.
Furthermore, the reduced flow of the Volga River (averaging 20 cm) and uncontrolled use of seawater for economic purposes also play a significant role. It is important to note that approximately 130 rivers flow into the Caspian Sea, and regulating the flow of these rivers also affects the sea level.
According to the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, the change in sea level leads to a change in biological diversity, and there have been cases of mass death of marine mammals, birds, and fish. Therefore, it is necessary to enhance scientific cooperation to study the water balance and determine the causes of sea level fluctuations for the purpose of prediction.
Turkmenistan calls for the activation of international cooperation in the field of ecology, particularly with the participation of the United Nations and its specialized agencies and institutions. Turkmenistan also proposes the establishment of the "Caspian Environmental Initiative" as an international platform for cooperation in addressing environmental issues, preserving the biological resources of the Caspian Sea, and addressing ecological matters.