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01 Jun 2013
Zafer Kızılkaya, the chairman of the Mediterranean Conservation Society (AKD), and Dr. Çağan Şekercioğlu, the President of the Kuzey Doğa Society, were granted the Whitley Award, a prestigious international nature conservation prize known as the “Green Oscar”.
New Horizons, June 2013 - AKD is given the prize for its efforts on providing and increasing the Gökova Special Environmental Protection Area No-Fishing Zones’ effectiveness by participation of the local fishers.
AKD is the implementing NGO of the different projects under the support of the Strengthening the System of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas of Turkey Project and GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP),
AKD Chairman Mr. Zafer Kızılkaya was presented the Whitley Award, known as “Green Oscar”. AKD is the implementing NGO of the different projects under the support of Strengthening the System of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas of Turkey Project (PIMS 3697) by the implementation of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization General Directorate of Natural Assets Protection and UNDP with the support of GEF-SGP.
Award was granted due to AKD’s efforts on providing and increasing the Gökova Special Environmental Protection Area No-Fishing Zones’ effectiveness by participation of the local fishers.
Dr. Çağan Şekercioğlu from Kuzey Doğa Society received his first Whitley Gold Award in 2008, and on this occasion, he received the 20th Anniversary Whitley Gold Award, a recognition for outstanding past winners who have made a significant contribution to global conservation, in this case for the creation of Turkey’s First Wildlife Corridor.
Çağan Şekercioğlu was selected to be granted to this award among 167 outstanding past Whitley Award winners in the last 20 years. In other words, Çağan Şekercioğlu was selected as the most successful Whitley Award winner of the last 20 years for putting Turkey on the conversation map.
Dr. Çagan Şekercioğlu of the Kuzey Doğa Society (North Nature Society) has played a key role in gaining international Ramsar recognition for the Kuyucuk Lake in Turkey -home to 227 different bird species- and also initiated the country’s first-ever wildlife corridor for large carnivores with the support of GEF Small Grant Programme.
The Princess Royal presented the award
The ceremony was made at the Royal Geographical Society and the prize was presented to Kızılkaya by the Princess Royal.
“Every winner has a close connection with their community, as well as experience and an understanding of the issues which often relate to human-wildlife conflict, but they also know how to make an impact through practical solutions, engaging people and initiating change at government level. That’s a rare skill. Let’s face it, there are ‘experts’ out there, who don’t always have that skill, but the Whitley Award winners do”, said the Princess Royal.
Conducting many projects
Establishing marine ranger system, which includes the local fishermen to increase the effectiveness of the control in the no-fishing zones of the Gökova Special Environment Protection Area and “Traditional Fishing” projects are among the projects conducted by AKD.
To watch the interview of Zafer Kızılkaya and Çağan Şekercioğlu with BBC Türkçe, click on this link.
For the online speeches of winners: