New Horizons - The system aims to ensure the effective management of areas subject to National Parks Law (No. 2873), the effective allocation of expertise and resources, the timely and accurate identification of factors negatively affecting management effectiveness and the development of policies to overcome these problems.
In order to introduce the new monitoring system, a workshop titled “Protected Areas Management Effectiveness Monitoring System in Turkey” was held in Antalya on 15-17 December 2010. This workshop was organized within the framework of “Enhancing Forest Protected Areas Management System in Turkey“ project.
A group of 50 experts comprised of national park administrators, representatives from the General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks and civil society organizations from across Turkey, attended the workshop at the end of which a system to evaluate and monitor the management effectiveness of national parks and nature parks was established.
It was agreed that the “Protected Areas Management Effectiveness Monitoring Tracking Tool” used by international organizations such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) will also be used in Turkey.
First implemented in Olympos
Fieldwork conducted in the scope of the workshop, participants filled out “Protected Areas Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool” form for the Olympos Beydağları Coastal National Park to evaluate the management effectiveness of the area.
Head of the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit Ministry of Environment and Forestry General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks Mustafa Yılmaz said the following about the system to be implemented for the first time in Turkey:
“The Yozgat Pine Forest was established as the first national park in Turkey, in 1958 . Until recently, the 41 national and 41 nature parks in Turkey were managed based on the effective usage of expertise and the allocation of resources. However, the success and failure of the effective use of expertise and resources was not possible with the existing management system because of the lack of a monitoring mechanism. The desired level of institutionalization in the more effective management of protected areas, had not yet been reached.
Moreover, according to goals outlined in the “Programme of Work on Protected Areas” prepared in the scope of the Convention on Biological Diversity, to which Turkey is a party, Turkey needed to determine the extent to which protected areas are managed effectively, and develop monitoring, evaluation and reporting frameworks to focus its implementation efforts towards national and regional systems by 2010.
This is why a team formed under the General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks Department of National Parks Monitoring and Evaluation Unit will begin to implement the new monitoring system for all national and nature parks in 2011. With the evaluations which will be conducted periodically once every 3 years, the team will monitor the management effectiveness, progress and trends in protected areas and national reports will be prepared.”