Turkey launches its national fund for prevention of biodiversity decline

01 Jun 2006

Doğa Derneği (Nature Society), which is BirdLife International's affiliate in Turkey, UNDP-Turkey and the Turkish Ministry of Environment and Forestry have formed a partnership in order to establish a national fund to prevent further biodiversity decline. Turkey's Nature Fund, as it is called, aims at initiating the most urgent conservation actions in 305 Key Biodiversity Areas identified by Doğa Derneği.

The official launch of the campaign will take place on 4 June, 2006 at CNN Türk, one of the main media sponsors of the campaign, along with the Turkish Atlas Magazine. CNN Türk promotes the fund and its 10 prioritised projects through a series of broadcasts during the week of 29 May-4 June.

The fund was established by the Dutch Government and the British and Dutch partners of BirdLife International, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Vogelbescherming Nederlands.

Among the 10 prioritised projects are the Conservation of Threatened Orchid Species in Southern Turkey, the Rediscovery of the Anatolian Leopard, the Conservation of Sultansazlığı Wetlands, the Preservation of the Last Remaining Demoiselle Cranes and the Globally Threatened Great Bustards.

On 4 June, CNN Türk broadcasts will call for public donations through SMS on cell phones all day long. The profits from an internet auction of paintings by 15 Turkish artists will also support the fund.

Motorola is one of the first private sector enterprises in Turkey to invest in the fund and sets a good example for other businesses to follow suit. Doğa Derneği invites all citizens, especially Turkish people living in Europe, to contribute to the campaign whose launch on CNN Türk can be received by satallite TV.

"We are very pleased to launch Turkey's National Fund, one of the first national initiatives dedicated to prevent biodiversity decline," said Güven Eken, Director General of Doğa Derneği. "Turkey is one of the most biodiversity-rich countries in the world and has a global responsibility for the prevention of species' extinction a united goal of the contracting parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the European Union. We expect that this partnership will initiate larger support from the private sector for biodiversity conservation."

UNDP Turkey's Deputy Representative Sarah Poole said, "As UNDP, we are very happy to be involved in this campaign, since we give give great importance to sustainable development and protection of biodiversity. UNDP supports the sustainable management of agriculture, fisheries, forests and energy, and a pro-poor approach to conservation and protected areas, biotechnology and the development of viable, new markets for ecosystem services. And we invite the public and espacially private sector to join us in this cause."

For more information

Esra Basak
Campaign Officer Doga Dernegi
Tel: +90 555 477 26 66

E-mail: esra.basak@dogadernegi.org

Website: www.dogadernegi.org