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The Russian Trade-Off: Environment and Development in the Caspian Sea
- Blum, Douglas
- TheJournal of environment & development 1998 v.7 no.3 pp. 248-277
- development projects, fish roe, fisheries, fishery resources, littoral zone, multinational corporations, oils, politics, pollution, resource management, Azerbaijan, Caspian Sea, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan
- The Caspian Sea embodies one of the crucial tensions of international politics. On one hand, its vast deposits of oil and gas beckon political elites and multinational corporations to compete for resource development projects. On the other hand, the Caspian provides fertile fishing grounds and an unrivaled source of caviar. Moreover, it is a singular ecological system. Without concerted management by all of the littoral states (including Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan), the outcome is all but certain: pollution, environmental degradation, and loss of fisheries. Should this happen, the social and economic stability of the entire region would be seriously undermined, with potentially destabilizing political consequences.