Adaptation to climate change through wetlands

“Adaptation to Climate Change and Protection of Biodiversity through Conserving and Sustainably Using Wetlands in Turkey” is a project carried out by the Turkish Ministry of Forest and Water Affairs, an IUCN Member.

Photo: Yusuf CERAN

Wetlands are important ecosystems for biodiversity. Turkey is considered one of the most important countries in Europe and the Middle East for wetlands. There are two main reasons for this: first, Turkey has a wide variety of wetlands with different ecological functions and characteristics; second, these wetland areas are located on the migration route of Western Palearctic birds. At least 135 of the wetlands are classified as internationally significant according to the Ramsar Convention’s criteria. 13 of these have the “Ramsar Wetland” status.

The wetlands of Turkey experienced severe damage due to excessive use. Especially in the last 20 years, many of these lands have dried up. Some wetlands of international importance have disappeared along with their flora, fauna and ecological functions. Damage to wetlands has in turn been the reason for numerous economic and social losses. Climate change is an additional threat to wetlands in Turkey.

The “Adaptation to Climate Change and Protection of Biodiversity through Conserving and Sustainably Using Wetlands in Turkey” project aims to protect wetlands, their ecological and socio-economic functions and their different uses in order to preserve them for future generations while taking into the account the effects of climate change.

The project has four components:

  • Component 1: National capacity building to strengthen the national and local capacities for wetland management.
  • Component 2: Developing a model for climate change mitigation by creating a wetland management model for mitigating climate change through sustainably managing peatlands as carbon stocks.
  • Component 3: Developing a model for climate change adaptation by generating a management model for adapting wetlands to climate change, covering conservation, rehabilitation and the preservation of their ecological functions.
  • Component 4: Knowledge sharing by creating a basis for disseminating and applying knowledge and experience provided by the project on national level.
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