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‘Our Last Natural Fortress, Let’s Increase Protected Areas!’

Kategori : ENERGY AGENDA NEWS, ENERGY EFFICIENCY NEWS - Tarih : 04 June 2021


On June 05, World Environment Day, WWF-Turkey (World Wildlife Fund) made a call to increase protected areas in Turkey. WWF-Turkey, which stated that protected areas should reach 30% of Turkey’s surface area by 2030, reminded that the cost of protection is lower than the cost of recovery.
On June 5, World Environment Day, which will be celebrated with the theme of “Ecosystem Restoration” worldwide this year, WWF-Turkey emphasized the need to increase protected areas.

With the report titled “If We Don’t Protect, We Lose: Protected Areas for a Sustainable Turkey Target: 30% by 2030”, which it has recently published, WWF-Turkey; It draws attention to the fact that protected areas, which help ecological processes such as climate regulation, soil formation, migration of living communities, carbon and water cycle, and the continuation of endangered species, are of vital importance for the sustainability of human life and ecological system.

In the report, which states that the ratio of protected areas to country area across Europe is over 25%, it is emphasized that in our country, according to official statements, our terrestrial protected areas are 11% and our marine protected areas are around 4%. According to the report, for a sustainable Turkey, protected areas must reach at least 30% by 2030, in line with new international targets.

Conservation costs much less than ecological restoration

Natural areas are not only shelters for different species, but also a strong shield against climate change. The global economic value of the services that nature provides to humans every year, such as food, medicine, climate, clean water, pollination, and recreation, is estimated at 125-140 trillion dollars; but these services offered by nature are not included in the economic balance sheets. The cost of preventing investments from harming nature or protecting nature is much lower than the bill to reclaim nature (ecological restoration).

‘There is no time to lose, we are at the critical threshold’

WWF-Turkey Nature Conservation Director Sedat Kalem made the following statement: “The future of humanity is also at risk with what we have lost. As humanity, we still have a chance if we change our approach to nature and take the necessary steps. But we have no time to lose, because we are at a critical threshold. Our performance in the next ten years will shape the centuries. Increasing the ratio of protected areas to Turkey’s surface area to 30% will be an important step. If we don’t protect it, we lose.”

Emphasizing that climate change and irreversible destruction of nature caused by unsustainable human activities threaten our future, Sedat Kalem continued his words as follows:

“Protected areas are places where conscious efforts and planned actions are carried out to protect not only endangered wild plant species, but also all living things interacting with them and the ecosystems in which they live as a whole. All living things in the ecosystem are interconnected and dependent on a web of life. Therefore, in today’s world, where the loss of nature and biodiversity has reached alarming levels, protected areas are the “last natural strongholds” we have and life insurance for both humans and other living things. In the plans to revive the economy for a healthier and more sustainable future, besides environmentally appropriate investments such as energy efficiency and renewable energy, the recovery of degraded ecosystems in order to prevent the extinction trend in species and populations and to improve the relationship between wildlife and humans, resources are more sustainable. use, creation and strengthening of new protected areas are also of great importance.”

WWF-Turkey’s recommendations WWF-Turkey draws attention to the importance of taking the following steps until 2030:

– Establishing a network of protected areas with more and wider areas (30%) in Turkey and realizing a stronger, better protected protected area management.

– Inclusive, open to stakeholder participation that will ensure the realization of these goals; Adoption of a framework Nature Conservation Law in line with scientific principles, international nature protection conventions and EU nature protection directives.

– Elimination of the fragmented institutional structure that causes significant difficulties in the effective management of protected areas. Ensuring better coordination among the institutions responsible for nature protection and more effective control, protection and management in protected areas by merging the relevant institutions (General Directorate of Conservation of Natural Assets, General Directorate of Nature Conservation).

– Area-based with stronger financial and administrative opportunities and personnel at the local level in order to increase the efficiency in protected area management, which includes a wide range of species and area protection / control works, visitor services, wildlife management, infrastructure works, education-research-monitoring activities and volunteer relations. realization of a new structure.

– Avoid status changes in protected areas


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