English

25.02.2013

Nature Law Watch Initiative is still monitoring the process of Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Draft Law, which is currently in the agenda of National Assembly. Our Initiative has grown up to 106 NGO’s after our active campaign on social networks.

Nasuh Mahruki, one of the well-known climbers and sportsman in Turkey, has volunteered to start a campaign in Change.org website to stop the Nature Law in behalf of Nature Law Watch Initiative.

Please support us by joining the campaign, liking our Facebook page, or following us on Twitter.

Sign Petition: http://www.change.org/tabiatkanunu
Twitter: @tabiatkanunu
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/TabiatKanunuIzlemeGirisimi

The current list of NGO’s supporting the Initiative given below.

1.    Adana Gençlik Birliği Derneği
2.    Akyaka Kent Konseyi
3.    Alakır Kardeşliği Platformu
4.    Asin ve Mandalya Körfezlerini Koruma Platformu
5.    Aşağıçerçi Köyü Güzelleştirme Derneği
6.    Avrupa Rüzgar Enerjisi Birliği Türkiye Bölümü
7.    Bartın Çevre Meclisi
8.    Belgrad Ormanı Koruma Gönüllüleri Derneği
9.    Bisikletliler Derneği
10.    Bodrum Mavi Yol Girişimi
11.    Boğatepe Çevre ve Yaşam Derneği
12.    Buğday Ekolojik Yaşamı Destekleme Derneği
13.    Buldan Doğal Hayatı ve Kültürünü Koruma Derneği
14.    Çevre Ekoloji ve Yaban Yaşamı Destekleme Derneği
15.    Çevre Hukuku Derneği
16.    Çevre ve Kültürel Değerlerini Koruma ve Tanıtma Vakfı (ÇEKÜL)
17.    Çiğ Süt Üreticileri ve Süt ve Süt Ürünleri Tüketicileri Grubu
18.    Datça Çevre ve Turizm Derneği
19.    Demokratik Eğitimciler Sendikası
20.    Deveciuşağı Çevre Koruma ve Kalkınma Derneği
21.    Doğa Araştırmaları Derneği
22.    Doğa Derneği
23.    Doğa Koruma Merkezi
24.    Doğa Koruma Vakfı
25.    Doğaseverler Derneği
26.    Doğa ve Çevre Vakfı
27.    Doğa ve Çevre Derneği
28.    Doğa ve Çevre Dostu Amatör Oltacılar Derneği
29.    Doğa ve Yaban Hayatı Koruma Derneği
30.    Doğal ve Kültürel Yaşam Girişimi
31.    Doğal ve Tarihi Değerleri Koruma Derneği
32.    Doğal Yaşam Derneği
33.    Doğal Yaşamı Koruma Vakfı
34.    Edirne Doğa Sporları Kulübü Derneği
35.    Ege Derneği
36.    Ege Orman Vakfı
37.    Ekolojik Denge Derneği
38.    Ekolojik Tarım Organizasyonu Derneği
39.    Ekolojik Üreticiler Derneği
40.    Ekolojik Yaşam Derneği
41.    Ekolojik Yaşam Girişimcileri ve Gönüllüleri Derneği (EKOLOG)
42.    Ekosistemi Koruma ve Doğa Sevenler Derneği
43.    Emanetçiler Derneği
44.    Ergene Platformu
45.    Eskişehir Çevre Derneği
46.    Eurosolar Türkiye
47.    Fırtına Ekoloji Grubu
48.    Gökova Akyakayı Sevenler Derneği
49.    Greenpeace Akdeniz
50.    GÜMÇED Edremit Körfez Şubesi
51.    Gürsel Tonbul Çiftlik İşletmesi
52.    Halk Kültür Sanat ve Eğitim Derneği
53.    Hayvan Hakları Federasyonu
54.    Hayvanların Yaşam Haklarını Koruma Derneği
55.    Herkes için Mimarlık
56.    İğneada Doğal Ekosistemi Koruma Derneği (İğneada Doğa Elçileri)
57.    İklim Ağı
58.    İklim İçin Gençlik Girişimi
59.    İstanbul Kuş Gözlem Topluluğu
60.    İzmir Kent Konseyi Çevre Çalışma Grubu
61.    Kadıköyü Bilim Kültür ve Sanat Dostları Derneği
62.    Karaburun Kent Konseyi
63.    Karaburun Yerel Fok Komitesi
64.    Karaburun Sivil İnisiyatif
65.    Karaburun Çevre Kültür Turizm Birliği
66.    Karadeniz Doğa Koruma Federasyonu
67.    Karadeniz Yazarlar Birliği Derneği
68.    Karaot Tohum Derneği
69.    Kirazlı Ekolojik Yaşam Derneği
70.    Kolaylaştırıcı Dernek
71.    Kozak Yaylası Doğal Çevreyi Koruma Kültür ve Turizm Derneği
72.    KuzeyDoğa Derneği
73.    Küre Dağları Ekoturizm Derneği
74.    Küre Dağları Ekoturizm Geliştirme Kooperatifi (KEKOOP)
75.    Küresel Denge Derneği
76.    Mezopotamya Doğa Platformu
77.    Mimarlar Odası İstanbul Büyükkent Şubesi
78.    Muğla Barosu Çevre Komisyonu
79.    Naturelife Dergisi
80.    Nilüfer Kent Konseyi
81.    ODTÜ Biyoloji ve Genetik Topluluğu (ODTÜ Biyogen)
82.    ODTÜ Kuş Gözlem Topluluğu
83.    ODTÜ Mezunları Derneği
84.    Osmaniye Çevre Platformu
85.    Proje Evi
86.    Rize Doğal ve Kültürel Varlıkları Koruma Derneği
87.    Sarıyer Kent Konseyi Hayvan Hakları Komisyonu
88.    Slow Food Fikir Sahibi Damaklar Hareketi
89.    Slow Food Ankara Birliği
90.    Slowfood Türkiye Fırtına Vadisi Grubu
91.    Slow Food Yağmur Böreği Birliği
92.    Sualtı Araştırmaları Derneği
93.    Sürdürülebilir Kırsal ve Kentsel Kalkınma Derneği
94.    Tarımsal Kalkınma Derneği
95.    TMMOB Çevre Mühendisleri Odası
96.    TMMOB Ziraat Mühendisleri Odası
97.    Toplum Sağlığı Araştırma ve Geliştirme Merkezi Derneği
98.    Toprak Ana Platformu
99.    Tüketiciyi ve İklimi Koruma Derneği (Tüvik-Der)
100.    Türkiye Çevre Koruma ve Yeşillendirme Kurumu
101.    Türkiye Çevre Platformu (TÜRÇEP)
102.    Türk Deniz Araştırmaları Vakfı (TÜDAV)
103.    TEMA Türkiye Erozyonla Mücadele, Ağaçlandırma ve Doğal Varlıkları Koruma Vakfı
104.    Türkiye Ormancılar Derneği
105.    Türkiye Ormancılık Kooperatifleri Merkez Birliği
106.    Türkiye Tabiatını Koruma Derneği (TTKD)
107.    Ulusal Genç Siyasetçiler Platformu
108.    350 Ankara
109.    Validebağ Gönüllüleri Derneği
110.    WWF-Türkiye (Doğal Hayatı Koruma Vakfı)
111.    Yağcılar ve Demircili Köyleri Çevre Derneği (YADEM)
112.    Yaşam Alanlarını Koruma ve Yaşatma Derneği
113.    Yenişehir Çevre Hareketi
114.    Yeryüzüne Özgürlük Derneği
115.    Yeşil Adımlar Çevre Eğitim Derneği
116.    Yeşil Artvin Derneği
117.    Yeşil Asiler
118.    Yeşil Düşünce Derneği
119.    Yeşilist
120.    Yuva Derneği

——————————————————————————

Nature Law Watch Initiative has sent a letter to the Ministers of  Environment and Urbanism, and Forestry and Water Affairs about the concerns of our Initiative regarding the recent “Nature Conservation” institutional restructuring in the Environment and Urbanism Ministry, and the Forestry and Water Affairs Ministry.

6 October 2011

Mr. Erdoğan BAYRAKTAR

Turkish Minister of Environment and Urbanism

Ankara

Dear Mr. Bayraktar,

We, the Nature Law Watch Initiative, formed by 73 civil society organisations (CSOs) working in the fields of environment, nature conservation and rural development in Turkey, would like to express our concerns regarding the recent “Nature Conservation” institutional restructuring in the Environment and Urbanism Ministry and the Forestry and Water Affairs Ministry.

Since 1990s, in almost all meetings about problems regarding nature conservation, there voiced two main problems in legal and institutional context and proposed solutions to:

  1. Our national legislation includes several overlapping and conflicting articles within laws drafted at different times for a variety of needs and this legal framework neither complies with European Union nature conservation directives, as well as the international, bi-lateral and multi-lateral nature conservation conventions that Turkey is a party to, nor poses a solution to current environmental challenges.
  2. The complexity and fragmentation in the institutional structure and the resulting lack of communication, cooperation and coordination, ends in serious conflict of jurisdiction and slow-moving bureaucratic processes, wasting valuable financial and human resources.

The most comprehensive study carried out by experts on these two fundamental issues is, within the context of the Biodiversity and Natural Resources Management Project (known as “GEF2 Project” which was implemented between 2000-2006).  Reports pertaining to this project as well as the proposed draft law are at the Ministry.

Almost all of these efforts claim that the legal solution is to enact a coherent “Nature Conservation Law” which is harmonised with international nature conservation conventions, EU nature conservation directives, policies and practices; enabling their implementation at the national level.  The Draft Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Law, discussed and approved by the Environment Commission of the Turkish Parliament before the 2011 general elections, though still having serious deficiencies, has the potential to fulfil that need, through a participatory process of revision.

The solution to the institutional fragmentation, as discussed in all platforms for years, lies in the establishment of a single institution, a strong “Nature Conservation General Directorate”, under the jurisdiction of the Prime Ministry or the Ministry, which has all the regulatory power regarding nature conservation and an independent budget.  However, with the 645 and 648 numbered Decree Laws enacted in the last few months, the fragmentation and disparities in nature conservation have been escalated and unfortunately, the institutional structure became more complex compared to 2000s.

The authority for the identification, protection, planning, organisation, improvement, promotion and management of national parks, nature parks, nature monuments, nature conservation areas and wetlands is given to General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks by 645 numbered Decree Law; whereas with the 648 numbered Decree Law, the authority for the designation and declaration of these areas (except areas under the forestry regime) is given to the Ministry of Environment and Urbanism.  The “planning” authority of the General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks has been forfeited by the 648 numbered Decree Law.  Moreover, the same Decree Law gives the authority to identify the use and construction principles for those areas as well as the power to give appropriation decisions inline with the approved plans and the monitoring and inspection of the implementation processes to the General Directorate for Protection of Natural Assets under the Ministry of Environment and Urbanism.

Within these structural conditions, it is not possible to have an effective and influential nature protection in place in Turkey. Conflict in authority and the resulting confusion created through these Decree Laws, will turn the Turkish nature conservation experience into a chaos and cause problems, especially for current nature conservation practices at the field level.

According to “Draft Nature Conservation and Biodiversity Law” approved by the Environmental Commission of the Turkish Parliament before elections (16 March 2011); there were two committees foreseen “National Nature Conservation Committee” and “Local Nature Conservation Committee” which would give decisions on designation and revision of conservation status at the national and local levels respectively. However, with the Decree Law No: 648, those committees are replaced by “Natural Assets Conservation Central Commission” and “Natural Assets Conservation Regional Commissions” and “High Committee of Conservation” (under the Ministry of Environment and Urbanism). These changes are deemed unreasonable not only because of their participation excluding approach, specifically against  NGOs, but also as both commissions and the new form of “High Committee of Conservation” are far from being contemporary and coherent with EU policies, directives and practices. The structure of these commissions are not unacceptable, particularly, considering even the former structure of them foreseen in Draft Nature Conservation Law were highly criticized and objected by NGOs and the academic world.

Moreover, currently Turkey’s 1261 officially protected areas having “Natural Site” status are under serious threat of development and energy investments, pollution and land speculation; such as illegal housing construction, unplanned tourism developments etc. According to Decree Laws; official validity of Natural Site status will be reconsidered for each and every one of them, and they may be subject to elimination. It is worrying that, in decree laws, there is no official reference or mechanism designed for the participation of experts, national or local NGOs etc., to include them in this critical official validity reconsideration process. We are worried that without the participation of these groups, the reconsideration process will lack the scientific, legal and practical inputs they could bring, and will definitely result in serious threats to the existence of those areas.

It has been brought to our knowledge, though unconfirmed, that there is an ongoing study on the final Draft Nature Conservation and Biodiversity Law (approved by the Environmental Commission of the Turkish Parliament) within the ministry, disregarding principles of participation and transparency, yet again.

In the light of these; as 105 NGOs mostly working in nature conservation field, we expect you to make progress in 2 subjects below:

1-      Combining “General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks” and “General Directorate for Protection of Natural Assets” under the same institution.

2-     Restarting the preparation of “Draft Nature Conservation and Biodiversity Law” through participatory, transparent process to make it coherent with international rules and regulations that Turkey is a party to and harmonized with EU policy and regulations.

Finally, we believe that any positive steps and progress in these 2 critical subjects will be turned into a valuable investment for future of nature conservation in Turkey. We wish to extend our warmest gratitude to you and again declare our willingness to fulfill our responsibilities as NGOs in this regard.

With regards,

Nature Law Watch Initiative Members

To:

Prof. Dr. Veysel Eroğlu, Minister of Forestry and Water Affairs

Cc:

Egemen Bağış, Minister of European Affairs,

Erol Kaya, Chairman of Environmental Commission of Turkish Parliament,

Karl Falkenberg, European Commission – DG Environment,

Stefan Füle, European Commission – DG Enlargement.

NGOs within the Nature Law Watch Initiative (in alphabetical order)

  1. Adana Gençlik Birliği Derneği
  2. Akyaka Kent Konseyi
  3. Asin ve Mandalya Körfezlerini Koruma Platformu
  4. Aşağıçerçi Köyü Güzelleştirme Derneği
  5. Avrupa Rüzgar Enerjisi Birliği Türkiye Bölümü
  6. Bartın Çevre Meclisi
  7. Bisikletliler Derneği
  8. Bodrum Mavi Yol Girişimi
  9. Boğatepe Çevre ve Yaşam Derneği
  10. Buğday Ekolojik Yaşamı Destekleme Derneği
  11. Buldan Doğal Hayatı ve Kültürünü Koruma Derneği
  12. Çevre Ekoloji ve Yaban Yaşamı Destekleme Derneği
  13. Çevre Hukuku Derneği
  14. Çevre ve Kültürel Değerlerini Koruma ve Tanıtma Vakfı (ÇEKÜL)
  15. Çiğ Süt Üreticileri ve Süt ve Süt Ürünleri Tüketicileri Grubu
  16. Datça Çevre ve Turizm Derneği
  17. Demokratik Eğitimciler Sendikası
  18. Deveciuşağı Çevre Koruma ve Kalkınma Derneği
  19. Doğa Araştırmaları Derneği
  20. Doğa Derneği
  21. Doğa Koruma Merkezi
  22. Doğa Koruma Vakfı
  23. Doğa ve Çevre Vakfı
  24. Doğa ve Çevre Derneği
  25. Doğa ve Çevre Dostu Amatör Oltacılar Derneği
  26. Doğa ve Yaban Hayatı Koruma Derneği
  27. Doğal ve Kültürel Yaşam Girişimi
  28. Doğal ve Tarihi Değerleri Koruma Derneği
  29. Doğal Yaşam Derneği
  30. Doğal Yaşamı Koruma Vakfı
  31. Edirne Doğa Sporları Kulübü Derneği
  32. Ege Derneği
  33. Ege Orman Vakfı
  34. Ekolojik Tarım Organizasyonu Derneği
  35. Ekolojik Üreticiler Derneği
  36. Ekolojik Yaşam Derneği
  37. Ekolojik Yaşam Girişimcileri ve Gönüllüleri Derneği (EKOLOG)
  38. Ekosistemi Koruma ve Doğa Sevenler Derneği
  39. Emanetçiler Derneği
  40. Ergene Platformu
  41. Eskişehir Çevre Derneği
  42. Gökova Akyakayı Sevenler Derneği
  43. Greenpeace Akdeniz
  44. GÜMÇED Edremit Körfez Şubesi
  45. Gürsel Tonbul Çiftlik İşletmesi
  46. Halk Kültür Sanat ve Eğitim Derneği
  47. Hayvan Hakları Federasyonu
  48. Hayvanların Yaşam Haklarını Koruma Derneği
  49. İğneada Doğal Ekosistemi Koruma Derneği (İğneada Doğa Elçileri)
  50. İklim Ağı
  51. İklim İçin Gençlik Girişimi
  52. İzmir Kent Konseyi Çevre Çalışma Grubu
  53. KADOS- Kadıköyü Bilim Kültür ve Sanat Dostları Derneği
  54. Karaburun Kent Konseyi
  55. Karaburun Yerel Fok Komitesi
  56. Karaburun Sivil İnisiyatif
  57. Karaburun Çevre Kültür Turizm Birliği
  58. Karadeniz Doğa Koruma Federasyonu
  59. Karadeniz Yazarlar Birliği Derneği
  60. Karaot Tohum Derneği
  61. Kirazlı Ekolojik Yaşam Derneği
  62. Kolaylaştırıcı Dernek
  63. KuzeyDoğa Derneği
  64. Küre Dağları Ekoturizm Derneği
  65. Küre Dağları Ekoturizm Geliştirme Kooperatifi (KEKOOP)
  66. Küresel Denge Derneği
  67. Mezopotamya Doğa Platformu
  68. Mimarlar Odası İstanbul Büyükkent Şubesi
  69. Naturelife Dergisi
  70. Nilüfer Kent Konseyi
  71. ODTÜ Kuş Gözlem Topluluğu
  72. ODTÜ Mezunları Derneği
  73. Osmaniye Çevre Platformu
  74. Proje Evi
  75. Rize Doğal ve Kültürel Varlıkları Koruma Derneği
  76. Slow Food Fikir Sahibi Damaklar Hareketi
  77. Slow Food Ankara Birliği
  78. Slow Food Yağmur Böreği Birliği
  79. Sualtı Araştırmaları Derneği
  80. Sürdürülebilir Kırsal ve Kentsel Kalkınma Derneği
  81. Tarımsal Kalkınma Derneği
  82. TMMOB Çevre Mühendisleri Odası
  83. TMMOB Ziraat Mühendisleri Odası
  84. Toplum Sağlığı Araştırma ve Geliştirme Merkezi Derneği
  85. Toprak Ana Platformu
  86. Tüketiciyi ve İklimi Koruma Derneği (Tüvik-Der)
  87. Türkiye Çevre Koruma ve Yeşillendirme Kurumu
  88. Türkiye Çevre Platformu (TÜRÇEP)
  89. Türk Deniz Araştırmaları Vakfı (TÜDAV)
  90. TEMA Türkiye Erozyonla Mücadele, Ağaçlandırma ve Doğal Varlıkları Koruma Vakfı
  91. Türkiye Ormancılar Derneği
  92. Türkiye Ormancılık Kooperatifleri Merkez Birliği
  93. Türkiye Tabiatını Koruma Derneği (TTKD)
  94. Ulusal Genç Siyasetçiler Platformu
  95. 350 Ankara
  96. Validebağ Gönüllüleri Derneği
  97. WWF-Türkiye (Doğal Hayatı Koruma Vakfı)
  98. Yağcılar ve Demircili Köyleri Çevre Derneği (YADEM)
  99. Yaşam Alanlarını Koruma ve Yaşatma Derneği
  100. Yenişehir Çevre Hareketi
  101. Yeşil Adımlar Çevre Eğitim Derneği
  102. Yeşil Artvin Derneği
  103. Yeşil Asiler
  104. Yeşil Düşünce Derneği
  105. Yuva Derneği
—————————————————————————————————
Nature Law Watch Initiative is the network of organizations to monitor the nature law process in Turkey. The position of the Initiative is given below.

POSITION PAPER ON “NATURE AND BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION DRAFT LAW”

Nature Law Watch Initiative

June 2010/ Ankara

The draft law once known as “Nature Conservation and Biodiversity Law”, prepared in 2003 within the context of the GEF supported Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management Project, recently re-surfaced with the name “Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Law” posing several serious concerns both regards to its preparation process and also regarding its fundamental conservation approach.

At the beginning of the drafting, the objectives of the said law was put as: “Preparation of an institutional and legal framework for the conservation of biodiversity and nature”, “Re-organising the dispersed nature and biodiversity legislation under one law” and “Preparing the necessary foundations for Turkey to be able to fulfil the requirements of the international conventions she is signatory to and the EU Accession process”.

However, we, as the NGOs that have provided substantive support to this process and still willing to, due to the points summarised below, would like to declare that, we are absolutely NOT SUPPORTING the “Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Draft Law”:

1. Fundamental Approach Problem: Constructed within international and national legislation in the last 20 years, concepts such as “sustainability”, “conservation-use balance”, “overriding public benefit” that aim conservation of biodiversity, have been inadequately and obscurely defined in the aforementioned law. These concepts presenting the main approach of the law, have been re-defined in a way to open the path for utilisation of these resources including investments with nature devastation potential, instead of conserving biodiversity.

2. Framework Problem: The initial approach of the law, which was to provide holistic direction to all conservation efforts, address threats over protected areas and/or biodiversity and provide solutions to conflicts arising from other sectors such as mining, urbanisation and energy, has completely changed. Moreover, the fact that the number of articles in the draft law has been reduced to half and that all definitive and implementation oriented critical issues have been left to regulations to be drafted at a later stage, seriously weakens the main aim and effectiveness of the draft.

3. Abolishment of “Natural Site” Conservation Status: A great body of legislation and customary law about Natural Sites have been established in Turkey. Natural Sites are the reason we still have pristine coastal areas in Turkey. Moreover, many interventions within Natural Sites and harm nature, including HESs, can be prevented by Board of Protection and courts of law. The conversion of this conservation status to a newly defined status under a different law, without the necessary scientific and legal preparations, is an error. This conversion effort without the participation of legal experts and stakeholders, could only aim to, obliterate the existing legal advantages, to eliminate the Board of Protection local mechanism and to ease the path of investments and illegal shanty settlements that destroy nature.

4. Ignorance of NGO Participation: During the preparations initiated in 2003, civil society organisations and NGOs have been invited and have been asked to provide substantive support at all stages. The initial draft has been seriously revised later, disregarding the comments and concerns of experts and NGOs that supported the process without any feedback; finally becoming completely re-structured. At this stage, we believe that the reference in several international texts claiming that the current draft law has been created through a participatory preparation process involving intensive NGO support and consultancies, needs to be seriously questioned.

5. Hindrance towards Watching of the Legislative Process: Currently, it became near-impossible to get information regarding the legislative process and the latest situation on the law-making. Despite institutional, formal and written requests, information and feedback regarding whether the draft has been revised, at what legislative stage the draft is and/or whether it has reached the Turkish General National Assembly commissions, have not been provided.

Working towards the conservation and rational use of the natural and cultural values of our country, we would like to declare to the public that we will be following the process as per the issues raised above.

With regards,

Nature Law Watch Initiative Members

Contact info:

E-mail: tabiatkanunu@gmail.com

Web: tabiatkanunu.wordpress.com

3 Responses to English

  1. Geri bildirim: Turkey’s Rich Natural Heritage Under Assault « Ataturk Society UK

  2. Geri bildirim: Turkey’s “Nature Law” Will Cause More Environmental Degradation, Activists Warn « Forest Quest

  3. Geri bildirim: Turkey’s “Nature Law” Will Cause More Environmental Degradation, Activists Warn | Green Prophet

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