Turkish government plants 1 million more trees across Istanbul

Turkish government plants 1 million more trees across Istanbul

Turkish Forestry and Water Affairs Minister Veysel Eroğlu
Turkish government plants 1 million more trees across Istanbul

Turkish Forestry and Water Affairs Minister Professor Veysel Eroğlu. DHA photo

With the projects we are implementing with regard to forestry and water affairs, we are setting an example to many countries. By closely following the latest technology, we present studies conducted by our professional staff at international platforms, while sharing our knowledge and experience with other countries.

I especially attach importance to participating in national meetings, seminars, forums and other such activities. At the ninth session of United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF9) held in 2011, I was present as the representative of our country. At that session, suggestions were made for the steps to be taken for the world’s forests, and the general situation of the world forests were discussed. Also, some legally non-binding, but instructive decisions were taken. We did not think that this great event, which had previously only been held in New York by the member countries of the U.N., would ever be held in another country. As Turkey, however, we broke new ground and proposed to host the 10th session of UNFF in order to display our hospitality and promote our country at an international event.

The U.N. declared 2011 as the “International Year of Forests.” For this reason, as part of the ninth U.N. Forum on Forests, we organized a symbolic planting ceremony by establishing a live broadcast link with Istanbul, in which senior authorities of the U.N. were also present. As part of the International Year of Forests, we planted 1,002,011 trees in Istanbul.

We will plant a tree for each guest coming to Istanbul for the 10th session of the UNFF. At the forum, of which main theme is “Forests and Economic Development,” we will handle subjects such as the protection and sustainable management of forests, increasing the forest-based economy’s contribution to social and environmental progress of society, a national forestry programs, and the contributions of forests to urban communities and the green economy. We will also provide information about our country’s works on those subjects.

We have taken many steps especially in the field of non-wood forest products, while developing and implementing new projects. With the honey forests, urban forests, and recreation areas we have formed, we have played an active role in increasing employment and providing economic gain. Also, we have enhanced the support we give to foreign trade by increasing the exports of forest plants that are used in the health sector.

One of the most important projects of ours is an Early Warning and Monitoring System. With the project, which aims to preserve our forests against possible fires, we have managed to reduce the period of intervention to forest fires to 18 minutes. This system attracted the attention of many countries, and some countries even demanded aid regarding this system. We positively responded to such demands.

Ultimately, as a country which is increasing the size of its forests, breaking records in forestation works, receiving technology awards in fighting against forest fires, and developing successful projects related to non-wood forest products, we are glad to host such an event. I hope that this forum, which will represent Turkish hospitality and the spectacular beauty of the world city Istanbul, will bring benefits to the entire world, including our country. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to making this event possible.