Turkey to designate 15 more 'nature conservation areas'

Parks in Turkey

Nature Conservation and National Parks Directorate General Manager Kadir Cokcetin has recently said that in 2023 there is set to be another fifteen areas added to the list of protected areas as a part of Turkey’s new vision.

Acarlar Floodplains

Cokcetin spoke following an event that was held in the Acarlar Floodplain, which is arguably one of the largest floodplain forests within the country, maintaining that under the International Ramsar Convention, which was signed in 1994, Turkey is committed to both the protection and the rational use of wetlands.

He added that there are a number of regulations and laws focusing on the environment which have the aim of protecting the wetlands. One such law says that the “development or draining of wetlands is prohibited”.

Protecting the wetlands: the Ramsar principle

Cokcetin noted that the management of the wetlands of Turkey is organised under the range of the convention’s “rational use of wetlands” known as the Ramsar principle. He continued to say that the management of the wetlands is now working on plans for the year of 2023. He further explained that: “We have created 75 wetland management plans so far, and approximately 2,000 wetlands will be registered in the inventory.”

World Wetlands Day

Cokcetin explained, while speaking on the day that marked World Wetlands Day – February 2, that within Turkey, there are four different floodplain forests. He also said that the Acarlar floodplain, which can be found within the north of Sakarya, is known to be the largest floodplain forest in the Black Sea area, following Igneada.

Home to indigenous wildlife

The general manager of the National Park Directorate spoke about how the floodplain forest is situated on the migration route for many birds, making it home to 193 different species of bird and 654 plants; 14 of the bird species are indigenous only to Turkey. The general manager further explained that due to the features listed above, the floodplain forest was recognised in 2006 for its rare ecosystem, unique to the area.

He continued to say that: “The 'Wildlife Development Area' was declared a 'Wetland of National Importance' in 2009. The management plan in the area is also implemented for the 2022-2026 period.”

Current areas of Turkey

Across Turkey, there are a total of 643 protected areas, comprising of 261 nature parks, 85 wildlife development regions, 48 Turkish national parks, and 113 nature monuments. Cokcetin ended by saying that they had plans to add an additional 15 areas to the list of protected areas during 2023.


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