Küre Mountains National Park Symposium

08 Oct 2012

Shahid Najam, UN RC/UNDP RR Turkey
Speech at “Importance of Protected Areas in Conservation: Küre Mountains National Park Symposium”
8 October 2012, Ankara


Excellency the Minister for Forestry and Water Affairs,
Esteemed Parliamentarians,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a matter of great honour and pleasure for me to participate in this event under the auspices of landmark project: “Enhancing Forest Protected Areas Management System in Turkey”. UNDP had the proud privilege to associate with this project as implementing partner. I also wish to commend, right at the outset, the project management unit and the project partners for their dedicated efforts in creating a model which has been chosen as one of Turkey’s Best Sustainable Development Practices for the Rio 20+ United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development; a model which demonstrated that enhancing the synergy between nature conservation, forestry and sustainable development is indeed the green pathway for sustainable human development.

The collaboration between the Government of Turkey and UNDP stretches back to over 50+ years. In the area of environment, forestry and energy, it revolves around two main pillars namely: facilitation of market transformation toward low emission economy; and capacity development for climate resilient economy and eco-systems. It includes both upstream policy level work and the pilot testing of models at the field level to identify evidence based solutions for up-scaling, up-scoping and replicating. Some of the more specific features are: Promotion of protected areas system in forest and marine biodiversity; Integrated and sustainable forest management focusing on biodiversity and CC mitigation; Energy efficiency initiatives; Preparatory assistance for the Rio+20; and, co-hosting the Global Human Development Forum in March 2012 which culminated in the adoption of Istanbul Declaration: “Towards an Equitable and Sustainable Future for All” showing how 'people-centered, inclusive and rights based' approaches can synergize economic and social dynamics to promote equity and sustainability, within countries and across the world.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, WWF Turkey and UNDP are committed to advancing this synergy with special emphasis on conservation, sustainable forestry and climate change mitigation. The UNDP Country office has recently joined the Collaborative Partnership on Mediterranean Forests essentially to further boost the cooperation and together share the vast reservoir of knowledge and experience with other countries in the region.

UNDP’s global work in the area of forestry primarily revolves around: the link between forests and relevant environmental and land management policies; institutional and capacity development; and sharing knowledge and best practices among governments and local communities. Considering the strong commitment of the Turkish Government to increase its Official Development Assistance; Turkey’s cumulative expertise in the forestry sector; and the high priority accorded by the Turkish International Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) to the forestry issues, there are many avenues for expanding the cooperation between UNDP and the Ministry of Forestry to help the developing countries especially the LDCs on the forestry and protected areas sectors. The Partnership Framework Agreement signed between UNDP and Turkey in March 2011 provides the framework for concretizing this cooperation into reality, especially on sustainable forestry and steppe ecosystems in the GEF V period. Allow me also to place on record our deep appreciation for the Küre Mountains National Park project for its proud distinction of having been chosen as one of the top 9 examples in the world in ''Natural Solutions: Protected Areas in Solving Global Environmental Problems Panel'', organised by International Union for Conservation of Nature and LiveWeb Initiative during UNCSD.

I would like to conclude by reiterating that the synergy between the nature conservation through increasing use of protected areas, sustainable forestry and human development is absolutely essential to emancipate the humanity from shackles of poverty, hunger and food insecurity and for bequeathing to the posterity a better world – a world which is just, inclusive and equitable.