Reducing poverty and achieving sustained development must be done in conjunction with a healthy planet. The Millennium Development Goals recognize that environmental sustainability is part of global economic and social well-being. Unfortunately exploitation of natural resources such as forests, land, water, and fisheries-often by the powerful few-have caused alarming changes in our natural world in recent decades, often harming the most vulnerable people in the world who depend on natural resources for their livelihood.

Turkey's vulnerable ecosystem has been placed under increasing stress by high population growth, rising incomes and energy consumption. In Turkey, as elsewhere in the world, environmental problems such as water shortages, land degradation, lack of clean and affordable energy resources severely hinder efforts to achieve sustainable development. In addition to these problems climate change poses a threat to the achievement of the MDGs and related national poverty eradication and sustainable development objectives.

To help Turkey find solutions, UNDP works closely with a number of government agencies, municipalities, private sector partners and NGOs, to integrate environmental and sustainable development principles into national and regional development policies and plans. UNDP Turkey not only promotes mainstreaming environment, climate change and energy efficiency into sectoral policies, but also supports strengthening the institutional and policy capacities.

UNDP helps to combat environmental degradation by promoting projects that address climate change adaptation and mitigation, renewable energy, energy efficiency, land degradation, water management, sustainable development, biodiversity and protected areas. UNDP facilitates the integration of sustainable development principles by promoting low carbon economy and considering climate change related risks and adaptation priorities into development planning at national, regional and local level in line with the 9th National Development Plan of the Government.

With its operations and projects run together with governmental bodies, UNDP assists Turkey in sustaining its biodiversity and ecosystem services, managing its natural resources, ensuring climate resilient sustainable development which mitigates the impact of climate change both on economy, environment and society, particularly on vulnerable groups and communities, and on human health.

UNDP also facilitates market transformation through clean technologies and creation of green jobs, strengthening economic competitiveness with a territorial approach and improving capacities for disaster preparedness and early warning.

Environment and Sustainable Development


National priority or goal: Protecting the environment and increasing competitiveness for sustainable development

Outcome: Strengthening policy formulation and implementation capacity for the protection of the environment, and cultural heritage in line with sustainable development principles and taking into consideration climate change and disaster management


Enhanced climate-resilient, pro-poor and gender-sensitive policies, institutions and programmes are mainstreamed, developed and implemented at the national and local levels for strengthened sustainable development.

National capacity for environmental efficiency and monitoring enhanced through improved data collection and information systems.

Enhanced national capacity to develop market for and access to environmental funds to support strategic environmental protection areas, including (a) biodiversity and ecosystem services; (b) climate change adaptation and mitigation; (c) sustainable forest and land management; and (d) safe management of chemicals (e) sustainable cities (f) biomass.

Strengthening capacities for National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Climate Change Action Plan development and implementation with gender differentiated impacts. 

Disaster risk reduction strategies integrated into the national development plans.

Focus Areas:

·         Climate change

·         Energy (renewable energy and energy efficiency)

·         Biodiversity

·         Land degradation

·         Water governance

·         Sustainable development

·         Chemicals (Persistent Organic Pollutants)

·         Disaster risk management and early warning systems


1.     Global Environment Facility

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) which was established in 1991, is a financial mechanism that provides new and additional grant and concessional funding to meet the agreed incremental costs of measures to achieve global environmental goals agreed to in international conventions and other priorities supported by the GEF including: (a) biological diversity; (b) climate change; (c) international waters; (d) land degradation, primarily desertification and deforestation; (e) ozone layer depletion; and (f) persistent organic pollutants.

The GEF funds programs and projects which are country-driven and based on national priorities designed to support sustainable development. These programs and projects are supported by 3 Implementing Agencies: UNDP, UNEP, and the World Bank; and, 7 Executing Agencies: Asian, African, and Inter-American Development Banks, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, FAO, IFAD and UNIDO.

Below are UNDP Turkey’s active portfolio of GEF projects:


·         Market Transformation of Energy Efficient Appliances in Turkey (October 2010-December 2014)

·         Improving Energy Efficiency in Industry in Turkey (April 2010-March 2015)

·         Promoting Energy Efficiency in Buildings in Turkey (January 2011-December 2015)

Biodiversity / Ecosystems

·         Strengthening Protected Area Network of Turkey: Catalyzing Sustainability of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas (June 2009-October 2013)

2.     Turkish Government

3.     Private Sector

4.     NGOs

Contact UNDP in Turkey

Media Inquiries

Phone: 0090 312 454 11 05


Environmental and Social Screening Procedure for UNDP Projects

This note aims to guide Project Developers/Managers through the screening process by outlining what the procedure aims to achieve, when it takes place, who is responsible, and how to do it.

Press Clippings
  • Environment and Sustainable Development Press Clippings English-Turkish
  • Environment and Sustainable Development Press Clippings 2 (January 2009-January 2010) English-Turkish
  • Environment and Sustainable Development Press Clippings 3 (January 2009-January 2010) English-Turkish