A new information centre to focus on Caspian environment

27 April 2012

BP and its co-venturers have entered into a new environmental agreement with GRID-Arendal to establish a web-based Caspian Environmental Information Centre (CEIC).The project has been designed in the framework of the Caspian Environmental Programme (CEP) and is expected to result in establishing an online environmental database to be used as a centralized hub for information on the Caspian environment. 
In addition to serving as a reliable source of up-to-date information about the environmental situation in the Caspian basin, the CEIC is set to promote environmental data collection and sharing of best practices on environmental management. The CEIC will also be used as a promotional tool for sustainable development and environmental activities in the region. 

“BP and co-venturers are pleased to enter this partnership believing that it will enhance efforts by Caspian environmental experts to standardize and harmonize environmental monitoring and methodologies in the region. We think that the centre will help provide broader access to regional environmental data, increase transparency and enhance communication with the main stakeholders including the public. Most importantly, we believe that access to extensive reliable information through this new source will help improve public participation in environmental activities in the region”, said Faig Askerov, BP’s Regional Director for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, Regulatory Compliance and Environment. 

"BP and co-venturers have always supported dialogs among environmentalists representing the Caspian region including those among governmental, private sector and NGO organizations within CEP. We see the establishment of a web-based Caspian Environmental Information Centre as yet another opportunity for enhancing such dialogs and collaboration and are very pleased to be part of it," he added. 
“Fulfilling its mission of support to the UN in the sphere of environment, GRID-Arendal will be eager to assist countries in the region in building their capacities in environmental information management and communication”, -- said Valentin Yemelin, the Head of the Capacity Building and Assessment division of GRID-Arendal and the CEIC project manager, -- “The activities of the CEIC are envisioned in the overall support of the Tehran Convention. We hope it will positively contribute to the dialogue between all Caspian littoral states on the environmental issues, focusing not only on problems, but on solutions as well.” 

Notes to Editors

•GRID-Arendal is a Norwegian non-profit foundation and a collaborating center of the United Nations Environment Programme. 
•The Caspian Environmental Programme (CEP) is a regional initiative established in 1997. It is developed and managed by the Caspian littoral states and is involved in activities that are aimed at improving the Caspian environment and promoting sustainable development in the region. 
•BP and its co-venturers have been successfully cooperating with the CEP since its establishment. As part of this cooperation BP, as operator of the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC), was an active participant in the Steering Committee meetings of the CEP. Other aspects of cooperation with CEP have so far included: support for a project aimed at establishing phase I of the Project Coordination Unit of CEP in Baku; support for such projects as trans-boundary diagnostic analysis, development of Regional and Azerbaijan National Oil Spill Response plans, development of the Caspian Convention, workshops on invasive species and biomarkers, training for Caspian specialists on environmental monitoring. 


Further information: 
Tamam Bayatly at BP’s Press Office in Baku, tel.: +994 (0) 12 437 75 73