Mazandaran Ecotopic Association
| Part of the Politics series on Ecotopism|
The Mazandaran (or Caspian) Ecotopic Association is an international organisation dedicated to the preservation of the ecology of the Caspian Sea area and the sustainable and equitable development of its resources. Its members are all of the states bordering the Caspian or Mazandaran Sea (Turkestan was the last to join in 1995).
The organisation was founded in 1992 as a joint venture between Persia, Azerbaijan, Kalmykia and the North Caucasian Federation. Following the collapse of the SNOR and its client regimes, it was feared that the absence of strong central authority in many of the Caspian-bordering states would have a negative impact on the ecology of the region. Persia therefore approached Azerbaijan and the two Russian republics closest to it with the idea of a local ecotopic association. Muscovy joined the organisation later that year, and Qazaqstan the year after. Turkestan's membership would wait until 1995, after the Qaşgar War was over.
There are two main areas of concern in the Association: environmental protection and international resource arbitration.
The organisation has little actual resource to enforce conformity with its directives, but the Association does have connections with other ecotopic agencies worldwide, who are quite willing to "name and shame" any offenders. Most of the time, the Association's members are not willing to risk the damage to their international reputations.
The major area of concern for the Association is the preservation of the Caspian Sea area's natural ecology and wildlife. Since its foundation it has spearheaded efforts to protect the habitat and breeding areas of the Caspian Seal, and has also led efforts to preserve the Jeiran, Saiğaq and Ship Sturgeon. It is also involved in promoting efforts to control the introduced coypu and raccoon populations. The coypu is proving easier to manage than the raccoon.
Pollution control is the other major aspect of this concern area, especially with the ever-increasing exploitation of petroleum reserves beneath the sea.
Preservation of fish species, particularly the several species of sturgeon (including the Beluga, Sevruga and rare Ship Sturgeon), has led the Association into resource arbitration. The beluga sturgeon in particular is a valuable resource, and making sure the remaining stocks are not overfished and that the fishable stocks are divided equitably are critical to the ongoing preservation of species and economic development of the region.
The Association's wider role in dealing with other resources such as petroleum and natural gas, however, is minimal. Most of the members have established multilateral treaties or prefer to work through other bodies such as COPEN or League of Nations regional working groups.