Awareness raising for forest rangers

01 Dec 2010

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Working as a forest ranger at the Küre Mountains National Park for the past 23 years, Tamer Korkmaz said he is now more aware of his surroundings thanks to the trainings on Biological Diversity and Environmental Protection held in Bartın between 8-12 November 2010.

New Horizons - “Before the trainings” Korkmaz explains “our only concern was with animals, now we know the different types of plants and can recognize the changes they go through”.

In field visits in the Ulukaya region and around Alıçlı village, participants recieved training on ecosystems, defining plant and animal species, tracking the nutritional status of plants and animals, mapping, GPS and basic orientation skills, photo trapping, bird and large mammal species in the Küre Mountains, the importance of old and dead trees, radio communication, and non-wood forest products.

The participants received their certificates and expressed their interest for such seminars to be repeated in the future.

29 forest rangers and related personnel attended the training seminar realized in the scope of “Enhancing Forest Protected Areas Management System” project where UNDP is the implementing partner.

The project team interviewed 43 year old forest ranger Tamer Korkmaz about the trainings for the December issue of New Horizons.

As a resident of the community living in the area, did you know about the characteristics of Küre Mountains National Park and the surrounding buffer zone? Did you have knowledge of the ecosystem, vegetation, animal species in the region?

Although we did have general information about the Küre Mountains National Park and the surrounding area, we did not know what terms such as flora and fauna meant before these trainings. Now we are able to observe our surroundings better and see different things.

What did the training seminars contribute to you? Aside from acquiring technical skills like using radio communications, you were able to learn about non-wood products, mammal and bird species in the area. What are your thoughts/opinions about the scope of the trainings?

Before the trainings our only concern was with animals, now we know the different types of plants and can recognize the changes they go through. Most importantly, I think, is that we acquired good note taking skills. We learned how to record the changes we observe in a species of birds, a tree or vegetation. When taking photographs, we learned to pay attention to color, scale and size. Now I carry a 30cm ruler with me so I can use it when I need it. I knew how to read a map before but I learned how to use GPS at the seminar. Some of my colleagues, who did not know how to use it before, can now use it effectively, and thus, we can all communicate more systematically. I now have a list of all radio channels in the car I use for work.

“Enhancing Forest Protected Areas Management System” project is being implemented since May 2008. What are your thoughts about the project? What are the project’s contributions to the region and the local community?

I think that the project will support the villagers in general. I know about where the project is being carried out. I especially believe that plants in the area, such as mushrooms can provide additional income and benefit the villagers.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded Enhancing Forest Protected Areas Management System project is implemented by UNDP Turkey; and executed by Ministry of Environment and Forestry, General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks, and General Directorate of Forestry under the partnership of General Directorate of Forest-Village Relations, General Directorate of Afforestation and Erosion Control, in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) Turkey. The project aims to create a model to enhance nature conservation and sustainable resource management in Küre Mountains National Park and its buffer zone, and disseminate this model to other 8 forest hotspots in Turkey.

Please visit www.kdmp.gov.tr for more information.