Elchin Sultanov, Alexander Gavashelishvili
Bakı - Tbilisi - 1999
İSAR - Azərbayjanın yardımı ilə nəşr edilmişdir

Baku – Tbilisi – 1999

There are some richest ecosystems with high biodiversity (Hajigabul lake, Varvara water reservoir, Jandar lake, islets on the Kura river near the city Rustavi, Tbilisi water reservoir, Paliastomi lake and coastal line of the Black Sea near Supsa terminal) lie on the way of the West Oil Pipeline Baku-Supsa (with general extend 960 km). The danger of oil pollution due to emergency situation is demanding the investigation of ecological condition of these territories. This publication is result of cooperative work of Azerbaijan and Georgian ornithologists in this problem. The Book was published on four languages (Azerbaijani, Georgian, English and Russian) and includes the particular tables, colour and black-and-white illustration.


  • Introduction
  • Primary problems of ecological monitoring at sites where oil pipelines pass through
  • Program example of ecological monitoring with the public's participation at sites where oil is transported
  • Lake Ajigabul
  • Varvara Reservoir
  • Lake Jandar
  • Islets near Rustavi City
  • Tbilisi Reservoir
  • Lake Paliastomi and a coastline of the Black Sea at Supsa Terminal
  • Conclusions
  • Lliterature
  • Appendix



Western oil pipeline (from Sangachala up to Supsa) with general extent of 960 km has huge importance in life of Azerbaijan and Georgia. Construction of an oil pipeline to Jeyhan is a basic way of transportation of the Caspian petroleum of Azerbaijan, and in perspective for other countries too. Even after construction and commissioning of oil pipeline Baku - Jeyhan the most part of a way of Western Oil pipeline will repeat down to appoint of branch of a line on Jeyoan in Georgia. Thus, the knowledge of ecological features in territory along Western Oil pipeline is important for understanding of possible ecological problems of the Basic Export Oil pipeline.

Western Export Oil pipeline passes in 1,5 м under ground that considerably reduces possible ecological risks. However we can not exclude opportunities of floods of petroleum, both on land, and in water ecosystems and also at oil terminals (Sangachal and Supsa) pump stations (only 5), stations of reduction of pressure (2) and on clapan keys (56; Mustafaev etc., 1999). It is confirmed be early cases of mass mortality of birds from petroleum in the Caspian sea in area of islands Gil, Dashlar, And Zenbil (up to 30-35 thousand in March, 1998, and more than 100 birds and 7 seals in June, 1999; Sultanov etc., 1998; Sultanov et c., 1999). In November 1999 as a result of storm rains transportation of petroleum on an oil pipeline in Zestafoni district of Georgia temporarily was stopped in connection with threat of catastrophe on oil pipeline.

The questions ecological and, in particularly, ornithological monitoring as parts of monitoring of a biodiversity were repeatedly put before the Azerbaijan International Operational Company (AIOC) and its branch Georgian Pipeline Company (GPC), State Committee of Azerbaijan and ministry of protection nature and native resources of Georgia from the moment of a beginning of construction of Western Oil pipeline. The preliminary works by the Azerbaijan, Georgian and English experts, however till now question on realisation of complete monitoring of a biodiversity including ornithological monitoring. In such situation the role of public (non-governmental) organisations, citizens and experts is especially important. Independent public ecological monitoring as a part of the public control is a single guarantee of duly revealing of negative influence on an environment. Duly notification of a public and appropriate state organisations, and in extreme cases references in court for acceptance of the appropriate measures on liquidation and further prevention of negative ecological consequences of functioning of those or other economic objects, including oil pipelines.

The coordination of actions of the Azerbaijan and Georgian non-governmental organizations, and further of NGOs of all countries, connected with export pipeline, is necessary, for more effective opposition for attempts to hide negative ecological consequences or to concern to them indifferently. The exchange of the acquired experience, mutual training to methods of ecological monitoring, informing on Ecological Extreme Incidents will help to have more complete picture of events, it is better to understand essence of threat to an environment and more effectively to achieve high-grade ecological monitoring, liquidation of consequences of possible oil pollution.

It is doubtless, that the richer ecosystem receives more strong damage, which can occurs because it lost more elements in ecosystem/. On the way of Western Oil pipeline on distance from less, than 1 up to 5 km are located some rich ecosystems with high biodiversity. At the territory of Azerbaijan there are a lake Hajigabul, Varvara water reservoir, at the territory of Georgia islets on the river Kura near city Rustavi, Tbilisi reservoir, lake Paliastomi and coast line of the Black sea near Supsa terminal, and the lake Gandar is located directly on border of Azerbaijan and Georgia. We have not enough literature can not reflect a modern conditions (Туаев, 1970; Туаев, Васильев, 1971; Туаев, 1975 etc.).

The inspections of the above-stated places were carried out in the period since February till November, 1999 by forces of Azerbaijan Ornithological Society and Georgian Center for Protection of Wildlife both jointly and separately with periodicity not less than 1-2 times everyone 2 months. In all basic seasons: wintering, breeding, autumn and spring migration. These researches were carried out with support of fund Horizonti " (Georgia) and organisations of ISAR-Azerbaijan.



Monitoring are constant or periodic supervision over various elements of an environment with a definite purpose and under the certain program (Мат, 1973 till the Sultans, 1999). The ecological monitoring consists of 3 basic elements: 1) Supervision over the factors influencing an environment and its condition. 2) Estimation of an actual condition of environment. 3) Forecast of a condition of an environment (Израэль, 1974; Svensson, 1974 till the Sultans, 1999). Thus, the ecological monitoring is a major component of the control for a condition of an environment. The Legislation of Azerbaijan and Georgia provides active participation in the control of a condition of an environment, both non-governmental organisations, and separate citizens and experts.

The basic threats for an environment from oil pipelines are possible floods of petroleum and fires. Only in territory of Azerbaijan Western Oil pipeline twice crosses the river Kura and passes through 10 small rivers. It is necessary to remember, that the oil spill can keep on water till 20-25 and more days, has property to emerge through 2 and more months after stay under water during increase of temperature. The petroleum film has attractive effect for the majority of birds because of the shine, as at light of the moon, and sun, that is both night and day, thus the oiled birds doomed on decease because of loss of a protective fatty layer, dissolved by petroleum, and also poisonings with petroleum at attempts to clean off it from oil (Nelson-Smith, 1972,1977). Same it is possible to tell about others animal - in petroleum pools come across both insects and predators, which go here after birds or other animal’s et c.

Objects of ecological monitoring is a ground, water, air, animals and plants, population (questions of health of the people). So, for example, at the raised contents of petroleum in water the caught fish has on so much strong smack and smell of petroleum, that it should be noticed but many dry and use its. Some components of petroleum have property to pass through a skin and to get in blood and fabrics. Already it is enough of two grams of petroleum to paralyse a duck. Having got in stomach system, the petroleum causes heavy poisonings (Nelson-Smith, 1972, 1977).

Our supervision basically is ordered on birds, as it is well known, that the birds are one of the best display groups of an estimation of changes having a place in an environment.

The basic methods, which can be used at ecological monitoring by forces of a public are most simple and accessible: visual: from one point in places, where the flood of petroleum, or on the certain route, fixing of the facts with the help of a photo and - or of the videoequipment, tax of samples for the subsequent analysis and demonstration, drawing up of the documents with participation of the experts and representatives of the local population, realisation of questionnaires about a condition of an environment, informing of MASS-MEDIA and enlightenment work among the local population, informing of the appropriate state bodies and non-governmental organisations, drawing up of maps and schemes of monitoring, major routes, definition of damage if it is possible, both by estimation of cost lost, and by definition of expenses on restoration.

The international aspects of ecological monitoring consist that the oil pipelines, as a rule, cross territories of the several countries. Fishes, bird and other animals make regular annual migrations on hundreds and thousand kilometres. The destruction of hundreds and thousand birds on wintering can result in destruction whole nesting populations in places, on the distance in thousand kilometres from places of wintering. Very important to know and analysis of the information worldwide is, as the similar events can happen everywhere, where transport petroleum occur and very important to know about experience of other countries and their mistakes.

The basic purpose of ecological monitoring by forces of a public is to keep health of the population, cleanliness and biological variety of a nature, as, than higher is a biodiversity of ecosystem, it will be more stable and resistant ecosystem. The basic tasks - regular supervision, revealing of the facts, definition of sources of adverse influence, notification of the population, MASS-MEDIA, state bodies and non governmental organisations, wide enlightenment work among the population, estimation of the real or possible damage, forecast of a situation for the future.



  1. Collecting of information on an initial condition environmental.
  2. Regular supervision and collect of the information, facts, samples laboratory analysis (if it is possible).
  3. Analysis of changes of an environment as a result of external influence.
  4. Selection of indicators of a condition of an environment.
  5. Notification of MASS MEDIA, non- governmental organisations ET c.
  6. Comparison with the world (global) data on this question.
  7. Estimation of damage or sum of the insurance for possible adverse influence.
  8. Forecast.