|Description||The primary objective of this GEF project is consolidation and preliminary implementation of the SAP of the Caspian Sea. The TDA team identified five Environmental Quality Objectives (EQOs), which represented the regionâ€™s long-term vision for the Caspian. Against each EQO a set of targets (with timelines) was then agreed in order to achieve the objective, and for each target a listing of required baseline and incremental interventions was developed. The full set of EQOs realted to transboundary priorities, targets and interventions appears in annex 4 and is presented in the TDA as the provisional SAP. Early targets include interventions to undertake further strategic investigations to determine the relative priority and root causes of the perceived priority transboundary threats. Early targets also include policy, legal, regulatory, capacity-building, and institutional reform to address pervasive root causes identified in the causal chain analyses.
The alternative scenario includes continued intervention by GEF and other international partners as catalysts to change. The work of the CEP would continue as a transitional mechanism towards a Convention and permanent secretariat. Under the stewardship of UNEP, UNDP, and EU/Tacis, the countries would proceed towards signing the Framework Convention, agreeing institutional arrangements, and negotiating key regional protocols and agreements (Biodiversity, Invasive Species, Oil Spill Contingency planning, Fisheries Management, and others). And beginning implementation on several key transboundary concerns. International partner support to assist the countries with upgrading their policy and legal bases, strengthening their institutional arrangements, improvement of compliance with existing national legislation, and implementation of multi-lateral and international environmental agreements will provide a firm basis for future protection of the Caspian environment. Through the CEP, the importance and value of the Caspian can be advocated effectively at the international, national, and, importantly, the regional administrative levels. Assistance from the international partners towards implementation of the SAP will provide impetus and momentum to the National Governments to implement their own endorsed NCAPs. The resulting clear assessment of the environmental status of the Sea will allow them to prioritise their national needs and better target their limited resources. The CEP will provide a nucleus around which support from other international organisations can be mobilized. Specifially, the CEP can encourage the oil and gas sector to provide comprehensive and coordinated support towards the environment. More open and complete private sector involvement will also assist the region to develop a sustainable mechanism for their alternative scenario. Continued attention to regional cooperation in public awareness and participation, perhaps through strengthened regional NGOs, strengthened communication, a regional EIA process, and more open environmental decision-making processes will continue to be a role of the international donors.|