Turkmenistan Overview

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Satellite Imagery Analysis for Environmental Monitoring
High-Resolution Satellite Imagery and the Demolition of Avaza and Tarta

The Geospatial Technologies and Human Rights Project, a part of the Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), partnered with Crude Accountability and the Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights to investigate the status of human rights and environmental concerns in Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan.

The first section of the investigation, Satellite Imagery Analysis for Environmental Monitoring, is dedicated to using satellite imagery to investigate reports of environmental pollution in the waters adjacent to the port of Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan. Since the opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, and the attendant increase in oil production in the region, groups such as Crude Accountability have reported an increase in petroleum-related pollution in and around Turkmenbashi Bay. The study uses multiple sources of remotely sensed imagery to detect and monitor oil pollution in and around Turkmenbashi Bay over a period of twelve years, from 2000 to 2012.

Phase two of the study, High-Resolution Satellite Imagery and the Demolition of Avaza and Tarta, examined reports that the towns of Avaza and Tarta on the Caspian Sea- long a summer vacation destination for Turkmen citizens- had been demolished beginning in late 2006. To determine the chronology of the alleged demolitions, AAAS analyzed high-resolution satellite imagery of the towns, monitoring changes across multiple dates covering an eight-year period from 2002 to 2010.

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