Three coastal provinces of northern Iran, namely Gilan, Mazandaran and Golestan, have planned festivals to celebrate Caspian Sea Day (August 12).
Parvin Farshchi, the deputy for marine environments at the Department of Environment, was quoted by ISNA as saying this year’s program will focus on familiarizing residents of coastal regions with aquatic ecosystems, cultural developments and encouraging public participation in preserving the Caspian Sea.
“Raising awareness toward remediation of seashores and proper use of marine resources are other aims of the festivals,” she said.
Farschi also said all visitors, local communities, provincial officials and any other beneficiary need to deepen their knowledge of the sea’s environment and ecosystems to help protect it.
The festivals are organized by the department’s Marine Environment Office in collaboration with provincial organizations and environmental NGOs in northern provinces.
These will feature live music, painting competitions and kite-flying. A cultural event, called “Nature, Art and Garbage”, will be held on the beaches of Farahabad District in Sari, Mazandaran Province.
The beaches of the three provinces will be cleaned up as part of the celebrations.
Iraj Roghanchi, an Iranian cyclist and national champion, is set to cycle from Astara, Gilan Province, to Bandar-e Torkaman, Golestan Province, to promote protection of the endangered Caspian seal.
The species is one of the smallest members of the earless seal family and unique in that it is found exclusively in the brackish Caspian Sea. The rare animal is hunted ferociously by other animals and humans, and its habitat is at risk due to increased industrialization in the area.
“One of the main aims of the festivals is to introduce the Tehran Convention to the public,” said Farshchi.
“People need to be aware of the collaboration between Iran and the Caspian littoral states to safeguard the largest enclosed inland body of water.”
The Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea, known as Tehran Convention, the first regional legally binding instrument signed by all five Caspian littoral states in 2003 and entered into force in 2006.
Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan have confirmed their readiness to pursue sustainable development and to take environmental concerns into account in their development planning.