Don't do this in Turkey's protected areas

One of the missions of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is to ensure that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable. Biodiversity research that the WWF conducted in Turkey in 2002 in Antalya-Patara revealed that the Ka? district on the Mediterranean has special significance.

The Special Environmental Protection Area (ÖÇKB), which had previously covered nearby Kekova due to its cultural and historic importance, was expanded to include Ka? after the WFF?s research. Public institutions and local fishermen discussed for months how to form a management plan for the sea in the Ka?-Kekova region. Principles were drafted. Capacity-building work was done and training was conducted. 

Now, there is a management plan at hand but there is no administrative mechanism to apply it. Monitoring should be done but who will conduct it is still not known.

After the 2011 general election, ÖÇKB directorates were abolished and a Directorate General for the Preservation of Natural Heritage was formed to replace them. Administrative units that would have dealt with these areas locally were thus removed and the jurisdiction was given to the office of the district governors and provincial directorates. In other words, they were centralized.

There were functioning personnel, offices, business plans, budgets and vehicles regarding each of these areas. They conducted checks with coast guards, monitored restaurants, and carried out protective work. The ÖÇKB, which had been autonomous before, lost its strong structure when it was converted into a general directorate and centralized.

You don?t need to be Einstein to understand that the aim was to break the strong structure of the ÖÇKB regional directorates and to create a more controllable...

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