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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
International Journal of Water Resources Development

For a Special Issue on
Sustainability and Environmental Challenges in the Caspian Sea

Abstract deadline
28 February 2022

Manuscript deadline
01 September 2022

Cover image - International Journal of Water Resources Development

Special Issue Editor(s)

Stefanos Xenarios, Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan
[email protected]

Serik Orazgaliyev, Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan
[email protected]

Ali Torabi Haghighi, Oulu University, Finland
[email protected]

Björn Klöve, Oulu University, Finland
[email protected]

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Sustainability and Environmental Challenges in the Caspian Sea

The Caspian Sea is the most extensive inland water system globally, situated at the crossroads between Europe and Asia. It resembles marine ecosystems, but it has similar characteristics to lakes with some salinity which vary as per the location and the regional water balance. Being an endorheic basin, the Caspian Sea is highly susceptible to climatic and hydrological changes from natural and human-induced factors.

Five countries, namely, Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan in the north, and Turkmenistan and Iran in the south, share the Caspian Sea with increased economic interests by exerting different pressures on the aquatic and coastal environment. Significant economic empowerment and environmental challenges can be attributed to the development of the vast hydrocarbon reserves extracted from the seabed of Caspian as early as the beginning of the 19th century, with uninterrupted exploitation till today. The recent discoveries of vast oil and gas reserves have increased the drilling operations in nearly all the riparian countries while energy transportation corridors are developed mainly for the markets of China, Russia and Europe.

Extensive fishing of the flagship sturgeon species that peaked in the early 20th century has increased the economic wealth in the riparian countries but also resulted in considerable disturbance to the food web of the Caspian Sea. The navigation activities in the Caspian and the human interventions in the Volga river- the primary freshwater supply, are also a socioeconomic driver for local communities but also an environmental concern for the water resources. There is further a growing tourism cluster of developments, mainly in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, which is expected to increase economic activities and local employment but also raise environmental implications in the Caspian Sea. Significant concerns have also been raised on the effects of climate change on the water volume of Caspian by observing a receding over the last years, mainly in the northern parts.

There have been intergovernmental agreements on the sustainable management of the Caspian Sea, like the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment, which was signed in Tehran on 4th November 2003 (the Tehran Convention). Another important agreement is the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea (Aktau Convention), signed between the five littoral states in 2018.

The objective of this Special Issue is to identify the major sustainability and environmental challenges and the initiatives and policies to be adopted for sustainable water management of the Caspian Sea in a national and regional context. We invite studies focusing on the following topics of the Caspian Sea:

  • Historical background, water use practices and environmental implications;
  • Legal, cultural and institutional context, water agreements and sustainability prospects;
  • Water governance, local and regional practices, environmental considerations;
  • Pollution from effluents and wastewater management systems;
  • Hydrological status and regional water balance;
  • Ecological status and vulnerability, environmental protection and conservation;
  • Mineral resources and fuels, effects on regional socioeconomic welfare and environmental sustainability;
  • Fishery practices, common water resources, transboundary water challenges;
  • Coastal processes and sea ice variation, effects on ecosystem services;
  • Climate change and variability in the basin, aquatic and coastal environment;
  • Tourism industry in coastal areas, economic and environmental implications;
  • Transportation corridors, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Eurasian geopolitics

Submission Instructions

We encourage the interested authors to send a concept note to [email protected]  until 28th February 2022 about their topic of interest before the submission process.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article