Landscape Story

The socio-ecological production landscape identified as the target area for the Community Development and Knowledge Management for the Satoyama Initiative Project (COMDEKS) in Turkey is the Datça-Bozburun peninsula located in Muğla province in the southwest of Turkey.The Datça-Bozburun peninsula is recognized as a key biodiversity area as it represents one of the most pristine Mediterranean lowland forest and coastal landscapes. The proposed landscape spans 247,700 ha. About 90% percent of the Datça-Bozburun peninsula is protected under several natural parks, wildlife reserves, natural & archeological sites as well as six no-fishing zones and two Special Environmental Protection Areas (Gökova SEPA and Datca-Bozburun Peninsula SEPA).

Biological Impact

The Datça-Bozburun peninsula triggers key biodiversity area criteria for 7 different taxon groups including plants, birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, butterflies and dragonflies and hosts several globally endangered terrestrial species.

The area also represents one of the most pristine Mediterranean lowland forest of evergreen shrub-lands and coastal plants such as red pine (Pinus brutia), liquid amber (Liquidambar orientalis), cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), Datça phoenix (Phoenix theoprasti).

Additionally, the Datça-Bozburun peninsula encompasses an exceptionally valuable marine and coastal area due to it being an important nursing ground for several marine species and a source of rare fauna which include the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus), the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) and the Sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus).

However, the Datça-Bozburun peninsula has been facing recent environmental challenges from increasing development pressures due to seasonal tourism and residential developments.

Socio-Economic Impact

Currently, the population of the proposed landscape exceeds 100,000 inhabitants, with a high population growth due to the high rate of inwards migration. Residents of Datça-Bozburun have moderate income status and the majority of the population is still dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods.

The main agricultural products are almond and olives which are mostly produced under rain-fed conditions and based on traditional knowledge (such as steep slope farming). This makes traditional farming an important livelihood activity for the local community. Additionally, wild herbs are harvested for local markets. In the area, there are also efforts to cultivate salvia and oregano in order to prevent over exploitation of wild stocks. Bee-keeping is locally practiced but it is expanding into the forest and grazelands. As a result, different types of land use still occur in the area.

It should also be mentioned that the proposed area holds the highest population of “fisherwomen” in Turkey (approximately 200 women actively fishing).

Baseline Assessment

The Datça and Bozburun Peninsula was chosen from 12 Key Biodiversity Areas representing the habitat diversity of the Anatolia and contains 2 of 14 Special Environmental Protection Areas of Turkey.

The consultative baseline assessment process undertaken for the development of Turkey COMDEKS Country Programme Landscape Strategies (CPLS) brought together 42 key stakeholder representatives including cooperatives/unions of farmers, fishermen, hotel owners, tourism operators, local residents; state authorities responsible for conservation and management of natural resources and local and national  NGOs working on nature conservation and agro-biodiversity, culture, art and sports.

The workshop used an interactive mapping and scorecard exercise aimed at piloting the Indicators for Resilience in Socio-ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes (SEPLS indicators). This encouraged discussions on important social and ecological values, problems, opportunities and threats of the proposed landscape and helped outline the landscape profile, expected goals and outcomes, and key measures and strategies for community-based actions. The baseline assessment clearly indicates that SEPL Performance of Datça-Bozburun KBA is quite favorable compared to similar landscapes in Turkey, due to its protection status. However, according to the participants, the resilience of the landscape is under severe threats, particularly in terms of agricultural biodiversity.

Landscape Strategy

The overall long-term objective of the COMDEKS Landscape Strategy is to enhance socio-ecological production landscape resilience through community-based activities. The COMDEKS Country program in Turkey seeks to achieve the following outcomes:

a) Improved and/or maintained ecosystem services in the target landscape and seascape by strengthening participatory land use planning and management practices.

b) Increased resilience of agriculture in the target landscape through conservation of plant genetic resources and implementation of agro-ecological practices using traditional knowledge.

c) Livelihoods of people participating in COMDEKS activities improved through eco-friendly community-based enterprises that reduce impacts on the ecosystem functions and scenic value of the landscape.

d) Institutional governance mechanisms created and/or strengthened in the target peninsulas through more inclusive and participatory decision making processes at the landscape level.

Country Projects

The types of community projects that will be supported by COMDEKS Turkey to achieve socio-ecological production landscape resilience include: conservation and restoration activities within terrestrial and/or marine ecosystems; conservation and diversification of agricultural mosaics; sustainable tourism initiatives; activities reducing illegal fishing; and establishment of local working groups, committees and thematic platforms via networking to enhance participatory decision making at the landscape level.

New! COMDEKS Country Programme Landscape Strategy for Turkey can be downladed here.

Media Coverage:

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Project Contact

Ms. Gökmen Argun
National Coordinator, GEF Small Grants Programme Turkey
Phone: +90-312 4541131
Fax: +90-312 4961465
Email: gokmen.argun@undp.org

Birlik Mah. 415. Cad. No.11 Cankaya, Ankara, RBEC 06610