Turkey, UN sign agreement to back Balkan, African forestry
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Forestry and Waterworks Minister Veysel Eroğlu (L) and FAO Director General Jose Graziano da Silva signed the deal AA PhotoTurkey and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have signed a cooperation agreement aimed at supporting forestry in the Balkans and Africa.
Forestry and Waterworks Minister Veysel Eroğlu and FAO Director General Jose Graziano da Silva signed the deal, which will provide $10 million to support forestry and control soil erosion and desertification, at Turkey’s Forestry and Water Affairs Ministry in Ankara on June 4.
“We will be able to begin and support forestry projects in the Balkan, Central Asian and African countries,” Eroğlu said, adding that Turkey would use its experience and work to help Turkic republics and North African and Middle Eastern countries grow in the forestry business.
The minister said Turkey would now be able to help North Africa, where many areas are at high risk of losing topsoil and desertification. “I want to stress that these works are important not only for Africa, but for the whole world, and further work will be done to prevent erosion.”
Turkey spent $2.5 million last year on less-developed countries and provided water for at least 1.3 million Africans. “This agreement will not only increase projects in Turkey, but will boost ones in Africa,” said da Silva.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met the FAO director general after the agreement was signed. Meanwhile, Turkish and U.N. agriculture officials also signed an agreement on June 4 establishing Turkey’s Food and Agriculture Ministry in Ankara as the headquarters for all U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization offices in the Balkans, Caucasus and Central Asia.
Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker and da Silva signed the agreement – which updates an existing Host Country Agreement (HCA) – at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Ministry in Ankara.
As a supplementary agreement, Turkey also signed the second phase of the FAO-Turkey Partnership Program (FTPP) with a trust fund contribution by the Turkish government of $10 million for the next five years.