Environmental issues in Turkey

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Turkey hosts more than 3000 endemic plant species, has high diversity of other taxa, and is almost entirely covered by three of the world’'s 35 biodiversity hotspots.[1] "Yet, Turkey'’s environmental laws and conservation efforts are eroding, not improving. This has precipitated a conservation crisis that has accelerated over the past decade. This crisis has been exacerbated by legislative developments that may leave Turkey with a nature conservation legal framework that is weakened and severely out of line with globally accepted principles".[2] The main environmental issues in Turkey are the conservation of biodiversity, water pollution from the dumping of chemicals and detergents[citation needed], air pollution, greenhouse gases and land degradation.[1]

Issues

Conservation of biodiversity

"Turkey has a remarkable diversity of wildlife, due to its wide variety of habitats and unique position between three continents and three seas. Ill-considered development projects are threatening biodiversity, but a new wildlife corridor offers hope for further conservation progress." [3] Turkish montane forests face major threats to their genetic diversity associated with over-exploitation, forest fragmentation, air pollution and global climatic change.[4]

Air pollution

Air pollution is particularly significant in urban areas;[5] the problem is especially acute in Istanbul,[6] Ankara, Erzurum, and Bursa, where the combustion of heating fuels increases particulate density in winter. Especially in Istanbul, increased car ownership causes frequent urban smog conditions. "Air pollution in urban centres, often caused by transport and the use of small-scale burning of wood or coal, is linked to a range of health problems." "PM10 levels are 36.7 micrograms per cubic meter, much higher than the OECD average of 20.9 micrograms per cubic meter and the annual guideline limit of 20 micrograms per cubic meter set by the World Health Organization." Although there is some monitoring of air pollution, compared with other European countries many air pollution indicators are not available.[7] Greenpeace Mediterranean claim that that the Afşin-Elbistan coal-fired plant is the power plant with the highest health risk in Europe, followed by the Soma coal-fired power plant, also from Turkey.[8][9]

Climate change

Summer temperatures have increased and are expected to continue to increase.[10] Proposed new coal-fired power plants would increase Turkey's CO2 emissions.[11] Turkey is working towards joining the European Union Emission Trading Scheme.[12]

Water

Pollution

Turkey's most pressing[citation needed] needs are for water treatment plants, wastewater treatment facilities and solid waste management. There is a potential for spills from the 5,000 oil- and gas-carrying ships that pass through the Bosporus annually.

Drought

Turkey does not have sufficient water. Almost three quarters of water consumed is used for agriculture.[13]

Land degradation

Land degradation is a critical agricultural problem, caused by inappropriate use of agricultural land, overgrazing, over-fertilization,.[14] Serious soil erosion has occurred in 69% of Turkey’s land surface. According to one estimate, Turkey loses 1 billion tons of topsoil annually.[citation needed]

Green space in cities

Former military land in cities may be rezoned for housing.[15]

Politics

Environmental issues are becoming more politically sensitive.[16]

In general, private firms have responded more fully to environmental regulation than state owned enterprises[citation needed], which still constitute a large percentage of Turkey's economy.

Changes in the law on environmental impact assessments are being considered which will permit mining investments without waiting for environmental impact assessments.[17]

The EU has asked for "a stronger political commitment".[18]

See also

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Şekercioğlu, Çağan H.; Anderson, Sean; Akçay, Erol; Bilgin, Raşit; Can, Özgün Emre; Semiz, Gürkan; Tavşanoğlu, Çağatay; Yokeş, Mehmet Baki; Soyumert, Anıl; İpekdal, Kahraman; Sağlam, İsmail K.; Yücel, Mustafa; Dalfes, H. Nüzhet (27 June 2011). "Turkey's globally important biodiversity in crisis". Biological Conservation. Elsevier (published December 2011). 144 (12): 2752–2769. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2011.06.025. ISSN 0006-3207. OCLC 5899894758. Retrieved 28 August 2014 – via ResearchGate.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Şekercioğlu, Çağan H.; Anderson, Sean; Akçay, Erol; Bilgin, Raşit (23 December 2011). "Turkey's Rich Natural Heritage Under Assault". Science. AAAS. 334 (6063): 1637–1638. doi:10.1126/science.334.6063.1637-b. OCLC 770059271. PMID 22194555. Retrieved 11 May 2013 – via ResearchGate.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Gross, Michael (10 July 2012). "Turkey's biodiversity at the crossroads". Current Biology. Elsevier. 22 (13): R503–R505. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2012.06.051. PMID 22970449. Retrieved 7 June 2013 – via ScienceDirect.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Çolak, Alpher H.; Rotherham, Ian D. (November 2006). "A Review of the Forest Vegetation of Turkey: its Status Past and Present and its Future Conservation" (PDF). Biology & Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Royal Irish Academy. 106B (3): 343–354. doi:10.3318/bioe.2006.106.3.343. JSTOR 20728606. Retrieved 25 December 2015 – via UKEconet.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Air pollution 'gravest environmental issue'". Hürriyet Daily News. Istanbul: Doğan Media Group. 1 January 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Onat, Burcu; Sahin, Ulku Alver; Akyuz, Tanil (12 November 2012). "Elemental characterization of PM2.5 and PM1 in dense traffic area in Istanbul, Turkey". Atmospheric Pollution Research. TUNCAP (published January 2013). 4 (1): 101–105. doi:10.5094/apr.2013.010. ISSN 1309-1042. OCLC 857474567.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. European Environment Agency (2013). Air pollution fact sheet 2013 - Turkey (Report). Retrieved 25 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Üzüm, İpek (28 May 2014). "Greenpeace warns about threat of Turkey's coal-fired power plants". Today's Zaman. Istanbul: Feza Publications. Retrieved 25 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Tuna, Banu (11 September 2014). "Greenpeace activists detained in Turkey for protesting thermal power plant". Hürriyet Daily News. Doğan Media Group. Retrieved 25 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Lelieveld, J.; Hadjinicolaou, P.; Kostopoulou, E.; Giannakopoulos, C.; Pozzer, A.; Tanarhte, M.; Tyrlis, E. (11 March 2013). "Model projected heat extremes and air pollution in the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East in the twenty-first century" (PDF). Regional Environmental Change. Springer (published 24 March 2013). 14 (5): 1937–1949. doi:10.1007/s10113-013-0444-4. ISSN 1436-3798. OCLC 5690407361. Retrieved 25 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Kahya, Damian (3 May 2013). "E.On looks to build new brown coal in Turkey". Greenpeace. Retrieved 25 December 2015. ... Lignite - or brown coal - is less efficient to burn and has a higher sulpher content. Not only does this mean that it creates more greenhouse gas emissions per unit of power than 'hard coal' ...<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning (3 May 2015). Turkey – Market Readiness Proposal (PDF) (Report). Retrieved 25 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Alphan, Melis (23 August 2014). "How can we fight against droughts?". Hürriyet Daily News. Doğan Media Group. Retrieved 25 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Savci, Serpil; Borkmaz, Bellitürk. "Assesment of Irrigation Water Quality of Some Provinces of Turkey" (PDF). IJMER. 3 (1): 19–22. ISSN 2249-6645. Retrieved 25 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Turkish army's green areas may face risk of settlement". Hürriyet Daily News. Istanbul: Doğan Media Group. 13 August 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Riot police break up ODTÜ protest in Ankara, 24 students forming human chain detained". Hürriyet Daily News. Ankara: Doğan Media Group. Doğan News Agency. 26 October 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Environment approval process 'not to delay big projects,' economy minister says". Hürriyet Daily News. Ankara: Doğan Media Group. Anadolu Agency. 28 September 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. European Commission (16 October 2013). Turkey 2013 Progress Report (PDF) (Report). p. 71. SWD(2013) 417 final. Retrieved 25 December 2015. A stronger political commitment would help to accelerate the alignment with and implementation of the acquis, as well as coordination and cooperation between relevant authorities at all levels.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Aksogan, Pinar (4 June 2013). "The fight to protect Turkey's green spaces began decades ago". The Guardian. Greenpeace. Retrieved 25 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Library of Congress Country Studies.