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Türkiye to designate 15 more ‘nature conservation areas’ in 2023



Fifteen more areas are set to be included in the list of protected areas in Türkiye as part of its 2023 vision, Nature Conservation and National Parks Directorate General Manager Kadir Çokçetin said Thursday.

In a statement provided after the event held in the Acarlar Floodplain, one of the largest floodplain forests in the country, Çokçetin maintained that Türkiye is committed to the protection and rational use of wetlands under the International Ramsar Convention signed in 1994.

He added that environmental laws and regulations determined the principles for protecting wetlands, according to which the ”development or draining of wetlands is prohibited.”

Wetland management in the country is organized within the scope of the convention’s “rational use of wetlands” Ramsar principle, Çokçetin noted, saying that the management is working on plans for 2023. “We have created 75 wetland management plans so far, and approximately 2,000 wetlands will be registered in the inventory,” he explained.

Speaking the on the occasion of World Wetlands Day on Feb. 2, Çokçetin said there are four floodplain forests in Türkiye, noting that the Acarlar floodplain located in the north of Sakarya is known as the largest floodplain forest after Iğneada in the Black Sea region.

Explaining that the floodplain forest is located on bird migration routes and is home to 654 plant and 193 bird species, 14 of which are endemic, the general manager of the National Park Directorate said that due to all these features, the area recognized for its rare ecosystem was opened in 2006.


”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,” he added.

Noting that wetlands preserve 40% of the world’s carbon, Çokçetin said that they are the ecosystems with the largest biological production on earth with tropical forests, thus playing an important role in regulating the climate with their high carbon storage properties. He also expressed that it is ”increasingly important to prevent changes that will cause the destruction of wetlands and the release of carbon dioxide, and to support the restoration of wetlands and their capacity to return to their natural state.”

Underlining that among 643 protected areas in Türkiye, there are 48 national parks, 261 nature parks, 113 nature monuments and 85 wildlife development areas, Çokçetin concluded that they plan to add 15 more areas to the protected list during 2023.

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Source: Daily Sabah

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