The Caspian Sea – still alive tomorrow?

15th April 2011

The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on earth and its cultural and ecological legacy is of a priceless value to humanity. It is one of the most sensitive ecological systems in our hemisphere and the birthplace of one of the most wonderful fish species there is – the sturgeon. Unfortunately this precious basin full of live is at present in great danger because of oil and gas extraction as well as numerous unregulated releases of chemical and biological pollutants.

The oil in the Caspian basin is estimated to be worth over 12 trillion US-dollars. It is obvious that the five surrounding countries and the international oil companies want immediate access to exploit this treasure. At what price though? On top of this, underwater oil and gas pipelines additionally threaten the sensitive environmental equilibrium of the Caspian Sea. The example of last year’s explosion of the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico shows the seriousness of such catastrophes not only for humankind and the industry, but especially for the environment. One such accident in the Caspian Sea could irreversibly destroy it and with it its inhabitants.

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