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					First ECO Experts Group Meeting                3.      The Delegations presented short
on Developing a Work Plan on                   statements on the state of Biodiversity in
                                               their respective countries, covering policies,
Biodiversity Islamabad, 24-25
                                               programs and projects concerning the
April 2007                                     subject issue.
                                               4.      The participants considered the draft
                                               Work Plan on Biodiversity which was
                                               prepared by the ECO Secretariat in
                                               consultation with the concerned authorities
                                               of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the host
                                               country. After deliberations, the meeting
                                               adopted the Work Plan on Biodiversity in
                                               the ECO region as well as a Calendar of
1.      The First ECO Experts Group            Events in this field.
Meeting on Developing a Work Plan on           5.     The     meeting    requested     the
Biodiversity was held on 24-25 April 2007      Secretariat to submit these documents for
in Islamabad. The meeting was attended by      consideration and approval of the 18th RPC
the representatives of the Islamic Republic    meeting and the 4th ECO Ministerial
of Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of        Meeting on Environment.
Iran, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the
Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Republic     6.      It was decided that national focal
of Tajikistan, the Republic of Turkey,         points of the member states be designated
Turkmenistan and the Republic of               for the above Work Plan to facilitate
Uzbekistan as well as the representatives of   pursuing a sustainable framework for
the ECO Secretariat.                           Biodiversity, ranging from exchange of
                                               information, visits, experiences, etc., as
2.      The meeting was inaugurated by         well as implementation of the Work Plan on
Mr. Sami-ul-Haq Khilji, Additional             Biodiversity in the ECO region.
Secretary of the Ministry of Environment of
the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Mr.          7.     All ECO member states were
Khizar Hayat Khan, Joint Secretary             requested to designate one national focal
(International Cooperation) of the same        point on Biodiversity and inform the
ministry made the welcoming remarks. Mr.       Secretariat of his/her details at the earliest,
Ali Khanbutayev, Director for Energy,          preferably within three months.
Minerals and Environment of the Economic
Cooperation Organization (ECO) delivered       8.     The Expert Group also agreed that
his statement on behalf of the ECO             the ECO Secretariat would seek
Secretariat.                                   nominations for coordinating countries on
                                               Biodiversity as well as for the thematic
                                               areas covered by the Plan of Action
according to the rules and procedures of         13.    The       Expert      Group      also
ECO. Kazakhstan was requested to act as a        recommended the activation of exchange of
coordinating country for Biodiversity,           information, technology, etc. for various
which was accepted by the delegation of          issues related to biodiversity through the
Kazakhstan.                                      national focal points to be nominated by the
                                                 member states.
9.     The participants exchanged views
on how to increase public awareness on           14.     The Expert Group emphasized the
biodiversity, including local and traditional    need for convening the next 2nd Meeting on
knowledge. This matter was discussed on          Biodiversity and welcomed the offer of
the basis of the presentation made by the        Kazakhstan to host it (The exact date will
delegation of Pakistan.                          be proposed in consultation with
                                                 Secretariat). Furthermore, the Expert
10.     The Expert Group recognized the          Group, recognizing the
fact that Transfer of Technology as well as      pace of developments
regional cooperation are an integral part of     in Biodiversity related
sustainable development and essential for        knowledge,     decided
protection of biodiversity. Improvement of       that the Plan of Work
technical cooperation and transfer of new        would be subject to
technologies as well as exchange of              revision by 2009.
information can assist member states in
promoting protection of biodiversity at the      15.     The      Expert     Group       also
national and regional levels.                    recommended that the ECO Secretariat
                                                 consider signing MOUs with Biodiversity
11.     The Pakistani delegation referring to    related     International     Organizations,
the high caliber of the biodiversity related     including non-governmental, Research and
scientific institutions of the Central Asian     Teaching Organizations, for enhanced
ECO member states and Azerbaijan, called         cooperation, to help achieve global targets.
for furthering technical and scientific          In particular, the meeting felt the need for
cooperation for the benefit of other ECO         signing a MOU with the CBD.
member states, particularly in the fields of
taxonomy and conservation. The delegates                      
of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan agreed that
such high tech institutions did exist in their
respective countries. The delegate of
Uzbekistan        while      referring     the   Ecological Situation of the
achievements of Pakistan in the field of         Republic of Azerbaijan and
community based conservation, called on          measures taken for Environmental
the ECO Secretariat to facilitate formalizing    Protection
extended cooperation with Pakistan in this
regard.                                          The Topsoil Status

12.     It had been decided by the 4th           The topsoil of the Republic of Azerbaijan is
Working Group on Environment, (Tehran,           beset with environmental problems,
May, 2006) that the ECO Bulletin on              essentially man-made. Only 4.2 million
Environment should cover thematic issues         hectares (ha) or 49.3% of the total land area
as well. Member States were therefore            of 8.6 million ha is arable. Degradation can
requested       to    submit     relevant        occur on such a large scale due to the
articles/material to the Secretariat for         erosion, salinity, swamping, chemical
inclusion in the next issue of the ECO           pollution and such other processes. Erosion
Bulletin on Environment.                         caused by wind, and irrigation is
                                                 particularly intensive. Around 3.7 million

 2  ECO Bulletin on Environment
ha or 43% of Azerbaijan’s land has been          polluted areas in and around Absheron
affected by these processes. Out of these        peninsula are about 1000 ha out of which
3.7 million ha only around 0.7 ha are            740 ha is agricultural area (crop land). It
arable. The main reasons for such                has been determined that oil penetration in
degradation are man-made elements such as        the soil up to 3 meters deep and mixes with
long-term and continuous diseconomy, low         the ground water.
level of the husbandry culture, unsystematic
pasture for livestock, destruction of forests,   In many cases, the same land area is also
along      with    the    natural    climatic    poisoned with radio-nuclides. Gamma
environment.                                     radiation in some of these areas exceeds the
                                                 maximum permissible limit by 20-50 times.
Around 1.2 million ha of the Republic’s          Soil close to oil refining and chemical
land has been affected by salinity and more      plants has been polluted with oil and
than half of it is irrigated area. Degradation   hydrocarbons.     These      areas    cause
has also taken place due to a number of          atmospheric pollution due to dumping of
other factors such as poor state of collector-   flying hydrocarbons which are particularly
drainage lines, construction of barrages in      high in summers. Reclamation of these soils
disregard of relief properties of the land,      is too expensive in the present economic
salinity and the level of ground water as        conditions.
well as flooding of coastal areas due to the
rise of the Caspian Sea level. As a result,      At present, limited on-shore oil is being
these lands stand excluded from crop             produced. However, the SOCAR (State Oil
rotation.                                        Company of the Azerbaijan Republic), has
                                                 initiated a two-phased recovery program for
An area of about 300 km2 faces flooding. A       lands used in oil operation. In the first
particularly dangerous zone is the Small         phase, lands with total area of 2800 ha and
Caucasus mountain ridge where floods,            not producing much oil will be treated
occurring once every two years, cause            chemically and used for crops and pastures
heavy losses, affecting as much as 1 million     purposes. The second phase would focus on
m2 land.                                         mechanical treatment of the polluted lands
                                                 and prepare them for house-building and
Absence of waste management was until            industrial purposes. This process includes
recently, a serious handicap. However a          drying of lakes, pools and swamps, surface
polygon for hazardous wastes has been            smoothing, and disposal of urban wastes.
lately put into operation. It is expected to     The World Bank is supporting pilot projects
contribute to solution of the problem.           on chemical recovery of land.
About 30,000 ha of land has been affected        Solid Waste Management
due to mining, urbanization and related
man-made hazards. This includes: 14              Besides oil and gas industry, the main
thousand ha affected by oil; 108 ha by           production establishments operate at 10-
chemical industry wastes; 5571 ha by             30% of their capacity. Consequently, the
sludge of irrigation canals; 1580 ha by          amount      of   industrial     wastes    has
widespread minerals; 163 ha by building          considerably decreased. However, obsolete
wastes and communal services, and the rest       techniques used in the operating enterprises
by mining wastes.                                remain a basic source of industrial wastes
                                                 and sludge as well as environmental
Oil-polluted areas                               pollution. The key problem for the
Long use of obsolete technologies in the oil     industrial sector is accumulated wastes.
industry has caused pollution of the soil        Currently, these sectors are trying to get rid
with oil and mineralized water. Currently,       of these wastes by transporting/dumping

                                                       ECO Bulletin on Environment          3
them in uncontrolled landfills from the          Natural Resources) in March, 2004. The
industrial areas.                                competition is held 4 times a year.
Domestic Wastes                                  The measures taken have already produced
                                                 desired results. The activities on collecting,
Domestic wastes in Baku consist of               sorting, carriage and processing of the
flammable (80.8%) and nonflammable               domestic wastes, according to the terms of
(19.2%) components.         Building waste       the competition in most cities and
makes about 14% of all urban wastes and it       settlements, have been more stimulated.
becomes higher during summer period. Non         Under the Regulation of the competition
hazardous or treated wastes as well as those     this measure will be regularly implemented
of the small scale enterprises are also added    every year, with further publication of its
to these wastes.                                 issues in mass media.
Areas are available for each city and district   Hazardous Wastes
centers to dispose their wastes. But none of
them is monitored and no practical project       Hazardous waste management has recently
is available for the establishment of proper     received increased attention in Azerbaijan.
landfills.                                       A State Policy was adopted on the
                                                 hazardous waste management in 2003.
For the time being no landfill, meeting          Adoption and application of this policy
International Sanitation Standards and           would improve the management of the
Norms, is available in Azerbaijan. Landfills     hazardous wastes, as well as the
are generally in unorganized and                 institutional arrangements.
uncontrolled state and are neither fenced,
nor protected. Wastes are not packaged and       Inventory of all the hazardous wastes was
covered with topsoil after being discharged.     started in mid 2003. All information
Moreover, wastes are cremated where they         relating to the generated hazardous wastes
are disposed which causes pollution in form      are sent to the State Statistic Committee
of smoke. There is no protective layer in the    every year where the data is analyzed and
substrate of the landfills to prevent the        published in the statistical yearbook.
hazardous substances from mixing with the
ground waters and no measures have been          One of the key environmental problems of
taken in these places for the surface water      Sumgait, the large-scale industrial city of
management. As a result, it can also             Azerbaijan, is accumulation of 200,000 tons
contaminate the underground water.               of sludge generated from chlorine-alkaline
Meanwhile, no research or analysis is            production containing 0.2-0.3 % mercury.
conducted referring to the physical              The initial effect of the sludge is the
properties of the soil around the landfills.     poisoning of ground waters and soil with
Hospital or medical wastes are thrown out        mercury as well as polluting environment
together with the urban wastes after the         due to mercury emission. The health risk of
polluted materials are disinfected. In many      urban population is particularly high as
hospitals syringes and other cutting tools       industrial facilities are located just 5 km
are discarded separately.                        from the city.

In order to raise the level of domestic waste    Biodiversity Protection
management in Azerbaijan a competition           In order to preserve the natural cover of the
called "Beautiful City, Clean Village,           Republic, extension of the specially
Worthy Citizen" involving all the regional       protected areas has been set as a target by
settlements of the country was initiated by      the relative authorities and some measures
the MENR (Ministry of Ecology and                have been taken in this regard.

 4  ECO Bulletin on Environment
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan in        purpose an inception workshop was held in
2003-2004 issued a Presidential Decree            January 2006 at Islamabad. The UNEP
establishing the Shahbuz State Nature             regional office for Asia and Pacific is
Reserve and Ordubad, Ag-gol, Shirvan,             cooperating with        the  Ministry of
Hirkan and Altyagadj national parks.              Environment, Government of Pakistan. As a
Moreover, the Cabinet of Ministers ordered        first step, NSDS guidelines and report will
the extension of Pirgulu, Turyanchay,             be prepared followed by preparation of the
lsmailli, llisu and Garayazi state sanctuaries    national sustainable development guidelines.
by about 2-3 times. Gakh state nature             The process is purely indigenous based on
reserve has been formed as well.                  national priorities.
The total area of the specially protected         Pakistan     developed     its     National
nature reserves in Republic has been              Conservation Strategy (NCS) in1992.
brought in a short time from 484,800 ha up        Though it was developed with a greater
to about 593,252 ha which makes 7% of the         focus on conservation of natural resources,
country's total area. If efforts in this regard   sustainable development and improved
continue, the government is expected to           efficiency in the use and management of
reach its target of having 10% of the area of     natural resources, the NCS-Mid Term
Azerbaijan declared especially protected          Review (MTR) in 2000 suggested the
reserves.                                         following:

                                            a) NCS should be fully owned by key
                                                  partners  and  stakeholders including
National Sustainable Development                  b) Switch from top-down and supply-driven
Strategy (NSDS) Process in                        to bottom-up demand-driven approach;
Pakistan                                          c) Prepare NCS-Mark II to serve as
The     International   Community       has       Pakistan's      National         Sustainable
formulated and agreed upon various                Development     Strategy,     with   greater
development goals at successive UN                emphasis on poverty reduction and
conferences held over the last decade. They       economic development in addition to
set time-borne targets for promotion of           environmental sustainability.
sustainable development. One of the goals is      Recommendations made in the NCS-MTR
the implementation of the National                laid the foundation stone for the
Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS).          development of a NSDS for Pakistan. NSDS
These goals have been merged with                 offers an opportunity to integrate all the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).              sustainable development related policies and
Development Assistance Committee (DAC)            strategies existing in the country since
of OECD has defined NSDS as “A                    environment is not only the concern of an
coordinated set of participatory and              infrastructural or productive sector, nor is it
continuously improving processes of               a social sector facility provider. Instead it is
analysis, debate, capacity-strengthening,         a cross-sectoral phenomenon. Current
planning and investment, which integrates         assessment of Poverty Reduction Strategy of
the economic, social and environmental            Pakistan (PRSP) has revealed that poverty
objectives of society and seeks trade-offs        related environmental issues have not been
where such integration is not possible”. In       properly addressed. An NSDS typically may
line with these commitments, Pakistan is          provide an opportunity to build on the
working to develop the National Sustainable       existing PRSPs with integration of
Development Strategy (NSDS). For this             economic, social and environmental

                                                        ECO Bulletin on Environment           5
objectives. Poverty, health and environment      private sector partners for attracting
nexus has emerged in Pakistan over the           investment in energy efficiency, renewable
decades. The expenditure on health, as at        and alternate energy together with
present, had been estimated at US $ 1.8          technology transfer and capacity building.
billion which is attributable primarily to the   Various capacity building workshops in
contamination of water and pollution of air.     collaboration with GTZ, World Bank and
The saving of the above expenditure would        other relevant organizations have been
significantly help in poverty reduction since    conducted to increase awareness.
the poor are the main vulnerable group
affected by environmental degradation.           Assessment on Ambient Air Quality in
Activities of       Clean      Development
Mechanism Cell                                   Air pollution has become an emerging issue
                                                 in the past few years due to high growth in
Pakistan signed the UNFCCC in June 1992          service sector. It has resulted largely from
and ratified it in June, 1994. Kyoto protocol    rapid growth in infrastructure in cities with
was signed in 1997 and ratified on 11th          increased road transport mainly due to
January 2005. Pakistan has formulated a          liberal leasing system by financial
Green House Gases (GHG) abatements               institutions. These factors are contributing to
strategy under the GEF/UNDP Asia Least           worsening ambient air quality in Pakistan.
Cost Gas Abatement Strategy (ALGAS)              Energy Conservation Centre (ENERCON)
completed in 1997. Pakistan reaffirmed its       of the Ministry of Environment with the
commitment to the objectives of Rio              technical and financial support of
convention at the World Summit on                SUPARCO conducted the Base Line
Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in           Ambient air equality study in major cities of
Johannesburg in 2002. A National Plan for        Pakistan. All these studies revealed that the
WSSD implementation was adopted, which           major problem relevant to the ambient air
included a project activity on WSSD              quality is the particulate matter (PM).
outcomes and WEHAB. National progress            According to this study PM concentration
in different areas including Water, Energy,      recorded in major cities like Lahore,
Health, Agriculture, and Biodiversity            Islamabad, and Rawalpindi is 4.4 to 7.5
(WEHAB) has been completed.                      times higher than WHO guidelines.
A high level national committee on climate       Establishing a Multilateral Environment
change, chaired by the Prime Minister of         Agreements Secretariat
Pakistan, has been formed to review policies
and monitor progress on the climate              Ministry of Environment has recently
initiative in Pakistan. An Autonomous            established a national secretariat to deal with
Global Change Impact Study Centre                and act as an umbrella project to look after
(GCSIC) has been established in the              matters relating to Multilateral Environment
Ministry of Environment. The centre is now       Agreements. The new Secretariat will
well equipped with staff and resources and is    coordinate and facilitate the formulation and
engaged in research on climate change and        implementation of the National Action Plan
its impacts on water and agriculture.            regarding different MEAs. The Secretariat
Ministry of Environment has also                 will also identify and monitor activities
established Clean Development Mechanism          within the framework of these conventions.
(CDM) Secretariat as part of designated          SACOSAN Conference
National Authority for approving and
facilitating CDM projects in line with           The Second South Asian Conference on
national sustainable development goals.          Sanitation (SACOSAN-2) was held in
CDM Secretariat works with public and            Islamabad, Pakistan on 20-21 September,

 6  ECO Bulletin on Environment
2006. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia,          3. Posters, booklets, bills and invitations:
China,      India,  Indonesia,     Maldives,
Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
participated in the conference. The
participating countries reaffirmed their
commitment to the targets of basic sanitation
in pursuance of Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs) and the Dhaka declaration.
They reaffirmed to accelerate progress for
achievement of adequate sanitation delivery
system in a planned and phased manner. The
Government of Pakistan approved the
National Sanitation Policy of Pakistan in
September 2006. The implementation of the
                                                  Around 10,000 posters and 20,000 booklets
National Sanitation Policy will help mitigate
                                                  on desertification and its affects were
the growing health and environmental
                                                  prepared and printed. Their distribution all
problems associated with poor sanitation in
                                                  across Turkey is already underway.
the country.
                                                  4. A Commemorative Stamp:
The web address of the Ministry of
Environment          website     is               A Stamp commemorating 2006 as the
www.pakistan.gov.pk/Environment.                  International Year of Deserts and
                                                  Desertification was issued and lunched on
                                            5th June 2006.
                                                  5. A Website:
Activities in Turkey in the
                                                  A separate logo of 2006 International Year
Framework of “2006 International
                                                  of Deserts and Desertification was added to
Year of Deserts and                               the web-site (www.agm.gov.tr) of the
Desertification”                                  General Directorate of Afforestation and
                                                  Erosion Control. Under the logo, material
1. Meeting:
                                                  can be found on the subject together with
A meeting was held on 19 April 2006 at the        an update on activities that have been
Ministry of Environment and Forestry              undertaken. Moreover, the Directorate of
chaired by Deputy Secretary and attended          Foreign      Affairs    and     Combating
by 20 civil society organizations and public      Desertification has created an e-mail
institutions. It discussed activities to inform   account,                            namely
the public, create awareness and increase         agmcollesme@yahoo.com.tr, to be used for
public interest in efforts to Combat              efficient communications.
Desertification and Drought in the
                                                  6. Spot Movie:
International Year of Deserts and
Desertification,                                  A 30 second spot movie was prepared for
                                                  display through advertisements in cinemas,
2. Radio and TV broadcasts:
                                                  symposiums, cocktails and workshops. The
Special Radio and TV programs were                movie is about desertification in Turkey
broadcast   on     “Desertification and           and abroad, and its impacts and precautions
Combating Desertification”.                       to be taken.

                                                        ECO Bulletin on Environment             7
7. Mobile phone companies,              SMS      11. Photo exhibition:
messages to subscribers:
                                                 An exhibition was organized by the
Telsim, a mobile phone                           Ministry of Environment and Forestry and
company,      sent     SMS                       Foundation of Ankara Photograph Artists
messages to 5 million                            on 17 June, on Combat Desertification Day.
subscribers on “17 June,                         The exhibition was inagurated by the
World Day of Combating                           Minister of Environment and Forestry,
Desertification”,     to    emphasize      the   Osman PEPE, and 58 photographs were
importance of the day. The SMS messages          exhibited. The exhibition expected 100.000
read as follows: “Desertification; silent        visitors by the end of July and 1 million
disaster of the world” and “Erosion is an        people by the end of the year from the
invitation to desertification, less bread and    whole country.
more tears for humans.”
                                                 12. National lottery:
8. Tennis tournament:
“Welcome Summer Tennis Tournament”
was organized and commemorated to “2006
International Year of Deserts and
Desertification” from 3 to 11 June in
Ankara Riding Club. An award ceremony
was held on 11 June, 2006 which was
                                                 As a result of talks with Turkish National
attended by 1000-1200 people. The
                                                 Lottery Administration, it is decided that
Minister of Environment and Forestry
                                                 the logo of “2006 International Year of
Osman PEPE made a speech on the hazards
                                                 Desert and Desertification” and the slogan
of desertification in the ceremony and
                                                 “Desertification, silent disaster of the
distributed prizes to sportsmen.
                                                 world” would be printed on the tickets for
9. A panel discussion:                           the draw on 29 July.

On 14 June 2006, a panel discussion was          13. The Logo of 2006 International Year of
held titled “Convention to Combat                Deserts and Desertification is being used by
Desertification and the National Action          all units of the Ministry of Environment and
Program”. The panelists were Prof. Dr.           Forestry for all correspondence.
Cemil CANGIR, Prof. Dr. Selim KAPUR,
                                                 14. Training lessons on Desertification have
Dr. Katalin ZAIM, Prof. Dr. Koray
                                                 been given to primary school students in
Dr. Mahir KÜÇÜK and Mevlüt DÜZGÜN.
The audience included representatives of                      
the Ministry and civil society organizations.
10. Friday sermon:
                                                 Excerpts from the 3rd ECO
In coordination with the Department of           Ministerial Meeting on
Religious      Affairs,   Sermons      on        Environment (30 June 2006 -
“Desertification” was organized and
delivered in the mosques of Turkey during        Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan)
Friday prayer on 16 June.                        The 3rd ECO Ministerial Meeting on
                                                 Environment was held on 30 June, 2006 in
                                                 Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan, preceded
                                                 by Senior Officials’ Meeting on 28-29 June.

 8  ECO Bulletin on Environment
Important decisions were taken to intensify       Secretariat to prepare and      submit an
cooperation in the field of environment.          integrated regional report to CPR/RPC and
Relevant excerpts are as follows:                 the member states in the first quarter of
                                                  each year.
1. The Ministers and Heads of Delegations
recalled that the Declaration of the 9th ECO      5. It was found expedient to explore the
Summit held in Baku on 5 May 2006, noted          possibility of getting assistance of
with    concern the        degradation of         international organizations, in- particular
environment and called for early                  UNEP, for preparing such a report, through
implementation of the Plan of Action for          holding a training course on their
Cooperation on Environment which has              preparation as well as reviewing the course
been extended until the year 2010.                of the preparation of the NPRs by ECO
                                                  WGE meeting to be organized at the fourth
2. The Meeting underlined the need for            quarter of each year.
more      active   participation   of    the
environment organizations of the member           6. The meeting appreciated the efforts of
states in the implementation of the Plan of       the ECO Secretariat for the preparation and
Action and stressed, in particular, the role      publication of the first four issues of the
of the appointed National Focal Points            ECO Bulletin on Environment, also made
(NFPs) in facilitating coordination of            available on the ECO Web-site.
implementation of the Plan of Action and
their close collaboration with ECO                7. The            Meeting              endorsed
Secretariat and with each other.                  recommendations on creation of Institute of
                                                  Environmental Science and Technology for
3. The Ministers and Heads of Delegations         ECO region as well as the proposed
welcomed the signing of the Memoranda of          Strategic Plan for the said Institute.
Understanding between ECO and WMO as
well as UNEP in December 2004 and                 8. The Meeting agreed that the functions
August 2004, respectively, and requested          of the Institute of Environmental Science
ECO Secretariat to develop cooperation            and Technology for ECO Region be carried
with all relevant international organizations/    out by the existing College of Environment
financial institutions (UNEP, GEF, IDB,           in Tehran, provisionally, on a project basis,
etc) for seeking their assistance for             until the member states further decide on
implementation of the Plan of Action and          this matter on the basis of experience to be
identifying specific joint activities, together   gained during four years of its functioning.
with the concerned authorities of the             9. With regard to allocating the ECO
member states. The opportunities for              Award for excellence in the field of the
cooperation with sub-regional organizations       Environment, the meeting took note that
active in the field of environment such as        ECO Awards given every two-year on the
CAREC (Central Asia) should also be               occasion of ECO Summits currently include
explored.                                         one which is awarded in the field of
4. The Meeting considered the matters of          Environment. As far as the establishment of
submission of the National Progress               an ECO Green Industries award is
Reports (NPRs) by the Member States on            concerned, the consideration of all related
the implementation of the Plan of Action          issues might be pursued, including
and, taking into account the experience of        elaboration of the modalities, by the WGE.
the previous years, agreed that it would be       10. The Ministers and Heads of Delegations
submitted by the concerned authorities of         directed that formulation of ECO regional
the Member States annually, in the                Plan of Action for the Protection of
beginning of the year positively in the           Biodiversity be started at the earliest and,
agreed format, so as to enable the ECO

                                                        ECO Bulletin on Environment           9
welcoming the offer of Pakistan to host a       A Glance at the Report of the 17th
meeting for this activity, requested active     Meeting of ECO Regional Planning
participation of representatives of all
                                                Council (RPC) on Environment
member states.
                                                1. The Seventeenth Meeting of the
11. The Ministers and Heads of Delegations
                                                Regional Planning Council (RPC) of the
discussed the subject of Environment and
                                                Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO)
Tourism on the basis of information
                                                was held at the ECO Secretariat in Tehran,
provided by the delegation of the Islamic
                                                from        19-22   February,       2007.
Republic of Iran and agreed that
                                                Preparatory/Review meetings were held on
development of Ecotourism could bring
                                                the sidelines.
economic benefits to the member states;
However, it is necessary to take into           2.  The Council took note of the creation of
account possible negative implications for      the Institute of Environmental Science and
the unique cultural and natural objects in      Technology for ECO region, with the
the ECO region. The participants agreed on      provisional performance of its functions for
the need to exchange experiences among          the next four years, on a project basis, by
the member states and decided to establish      the existing College of Environment in
a Task Force comprising representatives of      Tehran.
the     Environmental       and      Tourism
Organizations of member states in order to      3. While welcoming the offer of Pakistan
study the potential existing in the region to   to host the First ECO Experts Group
develop Ecotourism and work out a               Meeting in Islamabad on 24-25 April 2007
regional program for cooperation in this        to deliberate and finalize a Work Plan on
field.                                          Biodiversity, the Council urged the
                                                concerned authorities in the member states
12. The delegates welcomed the offer of the     to actively participate in the meeting. In
Republic of Turkey to hold a Seminar on         particular, they were requested to consider
Ecotourism in 2007, at the National Park of     the draft Work Plan on Biodiversity, which
Kure Mountains in Kastamonu and invited         was developed by the Secretariat in
the member states to participate in the said    cooperation with the host authorities in
Seminar.                                        Pakistan and circulated to member states
                                                together with the draft Agenda of the said
13. The delegates also appreciated the
                                                meeting vide Secretariat’s Note Verbal No.
presentation made by H.E. Dr. Fatemeh
                                                EME/ENV/ Biodiversity/ 2006/1944 dated
Vaez Javadi, Vice-President and Head of
                                                21 November 2006, and provide the
Environment Department of the Islamic
                                                Secretariat with their views before or during
Republic of Iran, on soil contamination and
                                                the proposed meeting.
geo-medicine and decided to consider the
issue during its next meeting while the         4. With regard to the ECO Quarterly
Working Group on Environment would also         Bulletin on Environment, the first 4 issues
discuss the matter and come up with its         of which were published by the Secretariat
proposals.                                      during the years 2004-2006, the Council
                                                appreciated that as per request of the 3rd
14. It was decided that the 4th ECO
                                                Ministerial Meeting on Environment, the
Ministerial Meeting on Environment would
                                                Secretariat made an estimate of the cost of
be held in 2008 and appreciated the offer
                                                the publication of the next four issues of the
made by the Government of the Islamic
                                                Bulletin and included it in the ECO annual
Republic of Pakistan to host it.
                                                budget for 2007, which was approved by
                                          the 120th CPR meeting. Accordingly, the
                                                Council requested all member states to

 10  ECO Bulletin on Environment
submit relevant material/articles for the        Calendar of Events on Environment for
Bulletin on regular basis.                       the years 2007-2008 (as approved by the
                                                 17th RPC Meeting)
5. The Council took note of the Report of
the 4th meeting of ECO Working Group on
Environment (WGE), held on 21-22 May             Event/Activity       Venue       Date
2006 in Tehran, as well as the outcome of        5th Meeting of
                                                                                   To be
the Training Courses on familiarization          ECO Working          To be
with the ISO 14000 and Environmental             Group on          determined
Management System (EMS) hosted by Iran           Environment
on 23-24 May 2006, back to back with the         Expert Meeting
above WGE meeting.                               on developing     Islamabad,     24-25
                                                 the Work Plan      Pakistan    April 2007
6. Bearing in mind that the first four           on Biodiversity
meetings of the above-mentioned ECO              4th ECO
Working Group on Environment were held           Ministerial
during the years 2004-2006 in Ankara,            Meeting on
Islamabad and Tehran (twice), the Council        Environment to    Islamabad,   2nd quarter
suggested that the next (5th) meeting of         be preceded by     Pakistan       2008
WGE be hosted by one of the remaining            the Meeting of
member states. They may offer to host it         Senior
during the first half of 2007, and in any        Officials
case not later than the close of that year, in   "Watershed
order to consider developments in different                         Malatya,
                                                 Rehabilitation"                21-25 May
fields of Environment, proposals of              Workshop                          2007
member states and other related issues                              Turkey
before the 4th ECO Ministerial Meeting on                            Kure
Environment scheduled to be held during          Seminar on                      7-9 May
the second quarter of 2008 in Pakistan.          Eco tourism                       2007
7. The Council took note of the Iranian          Meeting of the
                                                                    Tehran,      October
Project Proposals for cooperation in the         Task Force on
                                                                     Iran         2007
field of Environment, which had been             Ecotourism
forwarded to member states vide
Secretariat’s     Note      Verbal     No.                     
EME/ENV/HES/057 dated 10 January
2007, and requested the member states to
let the Secretariat have their views at the
earliest so that these could be reviewed
before the 5th Meeting of WGE by the end
of June 2007.


                                                      ECO Bulletin on Environment  11
            Table of Content

      ”First ECO Experts Group Meeting on
       Developing a Work Plan on Biodiversity
       Islamabad, 24-25 April 2007
      Ecological Situation of the Republic of              Secretariat of the Economic Cooperation Organization
       Azerbaijan and measures taken for
                                                            Address: No.1 Golbou Alley, Kamraniyeh,
       Environmental Protection
                                                            Tehran – Islamic Republic of IRAN
      National Sustainable Development Strategy            P.O. Box: 14155-6176
       (NSDS) Process in Pakistan
      Activities in Turkey in the Framework of             Tel : (9821) 22831733-34
       “2006 International Year of Deserts and              Fax: (9821) 22831732
       Desertification                                      Web: http://www.ECOsecretariat.org
                                                            E-Mail: Registry@ECOsecretariat.org
      Excerpts from the 3rd ECO Ministerial
       Meeting on Environment (30 June 2006 -
       Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan)
      A Glance at the Report of the 17th Meeting
       of ECO Regional Planning Council (RPC)
       on Environment
      Calendar of Events on Environment for the                         Executive Board of the
       years 2007-2008 (as approved by the 17th                        ECO Bulletin on Environment
       RPC Meeting)
                                                                            Mr. Ali Khanbutayev
                                                                           Mr. S. Naveed Mustafa
                                                                       Mr. Mohammad Reza Nabovati
                                                                        Mr. Talantbek Kasymbekov

      There will be articles from other
       Member States in next issues.
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    12  ECO Bulletin on Environment