6 Ensure environmental sustainability

What is the situation in the world?

Photo: Salih Güler

Human existence depends on the services and natural resources that protected areas seek to maintain or enhance. Currently, only 14.6 per cent of the earth’s land areas are protected.

Lack of improved water and sanitation facilities is predominantly a rural and poverty-related phenomenon.

Deforestation decreases biodiversity, access to clean water and increases soil erosion and the release of carbon dioxide. It often amounts in the loss of major economic asset and of the livelihood opportunities for rural communities, indigenous peoples and women.

Despite these improvements made, the number of slum dwellers continues to grow, partly due to the fast pace of urbanization. 

What is the situation in Turkey?

Photo: Deniz Dalak

Awareness of environmental issues has progressively increased in Turkey since the late 1980s.

Progress has been made in developing legislation regarding environmental problems and the institutionalization of approaches to problem solving.

Despite these positive developments however, there are deficiencies in the implementation of environmental management systems. Currently the environment-related portion of the Turkish legal structure is undergoing major revisions to incorporate the European Union directives, which will lead to an improvement in the environment in the long term.

Turkey however started to freeze the use of CFCs before most of the Article 5 countries of the Montreal Protocol, and received an outstanding achievement award from UNDP in 1997. As regards to safe drinking water, according to recent data, access to safe drinking has increased from 83.1% to 97.8% between 1994 and 2008.

Proportion of Terrestrial and marine protected areas was 5.05% in 2008 and CO2 emissions was 299,105 tonnes in 2009 according to TÜİK. 

However Turkey still needs to integrate its environmental policies to its economic and social policies.

Quick facts
  • Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) have increased by more than 46 per cent since 1990.
  • Nearly one third of marine fish stocks have been overexploited.
  • Many species are at risk of extinction, despite an increase in protected areas.
  • More than 2.1 billion people and almost 1.9 billon people, respectively, have gained access to improved water sources and sanitation facilities since 1990.
  • An estimated 863 million people reside in slums in the developing world.

Source: 2013 Millennium Development Goals report

Targets for MDG7
  1. Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources
  2. Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss
    • Proportion of land area covered by forest and proportion of species threatened with extinction
    • CO2 emissions, total, per capita and per $1 GDP (PPP)
    • Consumption of ozone-depleting substances
    • Proportion of fish stocks within safe biological limits
    • Proportion of total water resources used
    • Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected
  3. Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
    • Proportion of population using an improved drinking water source
    • Proportion of population using an improved sanitation facility
  4. Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020
    • Proportion of urban population living in slums