Integrated Environmental Assessment as a Comprehensive Governance Tool for the Caspian Littoral States to Control the Environmental Degradations

Document Type : Original Article


University of Tehran


With the world’s largest inland water basin, and the lack of an effective legal regime, the Caspian Sea has been an area of conflict over common resources. Important issues such as exploration and use of aquatic and fossil resources, transportation and environmental contamination have added to the urgency of developing frameworks for regional cooperation. In this paper, the Driving Force-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) model is used for implementing an Integrated Environmental Assessment (IEA), based on which, the causes and consequences of the environmental situation of the Caspian Sea and the effectiveness of the existing legal solutions and the possibility of upgrading them within a more comprehensive and integrated framework are examined. It is concluded that separated and individual efforts made by the littoral countries for the environmental conservation should be replaced with comprehensive, integrated and inter-governmental approaches, such as Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), Integrated Watershed Management and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) that are performed within the context of the existing regional governance structures. 


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