17 June 2013
The World Day to Combat Desertification, organized by the Ministry of Forest and Water Affairs of Republic of Turkey, gathered hundreds of people in the Cultural Center in the city of Konya, Turkey, to hear the achievements and future plans in combating wind and soil erosion, afforestation and improving livelihood of rural people. The Vice Minister, the senior official of the Ministry, governor of Konya, the representative of the UNCCD Secretariat, the Participants of the International Training on Combating Desertification and ordinary people of Konya witnessed an excellent event which was featured by art performance, children theatre, picture and photo contests.
The National Action Programme to Combat Desertification in the Republic of Turkey gives utmost importance to preservation of forest lands and rehabilitation of degraded forests. “Since the last 10 years, about 2 billion seedling have been planted in Turkey and 3.5 million hectares of land have been afforested,” says the Director General of Forestry Directorate of the Ministry of Forest and Water Affairs.
The representative of the UNCCD Secretariat underlined that the Republic of Turkey remains one of the most active partner of the UNCCD in the implementation of the strategic objectives of the Convention which should be an example for other regions.
The participants of the International Training on Combating Desertification represented by nearly forty experts from Africa and Middle East countries were awarded by the certificates and expressed their appreciation to the organizers for the possibility to learn from rich experience of Turkey in forest rehabilitation, flood control, seedling protection and many other techniques.
The Government of Turkey through the Ministry of Forests and Water Affairs and with the support of Turkish International Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) has initiated land rehabilitation/combating desertification programme for regional cooperation for a total cost of 20 million dollars for 5 years to support countries of Africa, Central Asia and Balkans.
Hanifi Avci, Director General, MFWA; Jamal Annagylyjova, UNCCD Secretariat; Ismail Belen, Deputy DG, MFWA.