The Azerbaijani Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources has responded to the accusations made by Deputy Chief of the Iranian Marine Environmental Protection Organization Abdolreza Karbasi on Azerbaijan's role in the Caspian Sea pollution.
The Iranian side has already made similar accusations about Azerbaijan's role in the pollution of the Caspian Sea, head of the environmental policy department of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources Rasim Sattarzade told Trend today.
He said that five Caspian littoral countries must work together to improve the ecological status of the sea and environmental protection.
"Regarding environmental risks arising from oil production voiced by Karbasi, it should be stressed that after Azerbaijan gained independence, low-waste and non-waste oil is produced with the use of advanced technologies and modern management systems," Sattarzade said. "This allows minimizing the impact on the environment."
He added that the main cause of the Caspian Sea pollution is discharging industrial and household waste from the land. This shows that Azerbaijan can not be a major source of pollution. A real factor of the Caspian Sea pollution from the land is associated with the number of people living in the coastal zone.
"If we take into account that much more people live on the Iranian coast of the Caspian Sea compared to other countries, we can say that Iran pollutes the sea from the land more than Azerbaijan," Sattarzade said. "A lack of treatment facilities and sewage systems on the Iranian coast of the Caspian Sea and the fact that the population there uses large volumes of fertilizers, including pesticides while farming play a large role in the pollution of the Caspian Sea."
"Azerbaijan attaches great importance to environmental issues, including the environmental protection of the Caspian Sea," he added. "The large-scale projects have been recently implemented to reconstruct the centralized sewerage systems of the Republic, to modernize the existing water treatment facilities and to build new ones. Modular treatment plants were installed in small local facilities and the "System of the environmental protection of the Caspian Sea" was created to prevent pollution of the Caspian Sea."
"We believe that it would be better to expand the activity with these countries to protect the environment and biological resources of the Caspian Sea instead of making accusations against other Caspian countries," he said.
According to the Iranian agency ?RNA, Deputy Chief of the Iranian Marine Environmental Protection Organization Abdolreza Karbasi said that Azerbaijan produces oil in the Caspian Sea by using oil obsolete units and thereby pollutes the sea. Iran will calculate the cost of cleaning up the Caspian Sea and the damage caused to the environment. Then, a complaint will be filed through the Iranian Foreign Ministry to the appropriate bodies for Azerbaijan to pay the penalty for marine pollution.