"Sustainable Development Days" in Ankara
“Integration of Sustainable Development into Sectoral Policies” project implemented by UNDP and State Planning Organization came to end with a two-day meeting held on 18-19 March 2008 in Ankara.
The participants took a closer look at the sustainable development concept in Turkey and shared experiences and lessons learned in the context of the sub-projects realized under the project.
“Sustainable Development Days” were attended by the State Minister and Deputy and Prime Minister Nazım Ekren, UNDP Turkey Resident Representative Mahmood Ayub, State Planning Organization Undersecretary Dr. Ahmet Tıktık, European Commission Delegation to Turkey Ambassador Marc Pierini, representatives of various ministeries, high level Turkish officials and public institutions as well NGOs, the private sector, international experts and the academics.
During the meeting, panels were held on the sustainable development concept in Turkey, international experiences and lessons learned in sustainable development were shared and the gala of the TV documentary “Possible to Sustain” (Sürdürmek Mümkün) was held. Outcomes of projects in the five sectors identified as energy, urbanization, science and technology, forestry and fisheries were shared. Other issues taken up at the meeting were integration studies and the future of sustainable development in Turkey. The short movies that were awarded in the Sustainable Development Short Movie and Documentary Competition were also shown to the participants. The “Sustainable Development Days” with all its panels and discussions will contribute to inspire new ideas, a new vision as well as new projects, academic studies and international cooperation at the local, national and international levels.
Speaking at the meeting, UNDP Resident Representative Mahmood Ayub stressed that “progress in achieving sustainable development is only possible through close partnership and cooperation among the various stakeholders”.
The main objective of the projects realized under the “Integration of Sustainable Development into Sectoral Policies” project implemented by UNDP and the State Planning Organizations in five pilot sectos is to determine Turkey’s leading strategies in sustainable development efforts and to raise public awareness in related issues. Other contributors of the projects include the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the Ministry of Public Works and Settlement, TUBITAK, the private sector, NGOs and the academia.
The concept of “sustainable development” was first introduced at the World Sustainable Development Summit in Rio in 1992, then in Johannesburg in 2002. In Turkey, efforts in this area started in 2006. A 20-month period was foreseen for the completion of all the sub-projects within the framework of the ‘Integration of Sustainable Development into Sectoral Policies Project’, conducted jointly by UNDP Turkey and State Planning Organization.
EU’s total grant for the project is 910 thousand euros. The sub-projects each have three dimensions: policy making, local implementations, and communication and information activities. All projects strongly encourage the participation of NGOs, local administrations, academics and private sector companies, as well as local individuals from children to women and the elderly.