Local Working Groups in operation for marine protected areas

27.06.2013
Local Working Groups in Muğla SEPAs held its first meetings which both local public officers and many NGO representatives attended the meeting conducted in Gökova, Datça-Bozburun, Köyceğiz-Dalyan and Fethiye-Göcek SEPAs

Local Working Groups established as part of “Strengthening the Marine Coastal Protected Area System of Turkey Project” are starting their operation in Muğla. Groups covering both public officers and NGO representatives gathered for the first time in Gökova, Datça-Bozburun, Köyceğiz-Dalyan and Fethiye-Göcek SEPAs for the dates of June 17-21, 2013 in 5 separate meetings held in each location. 49 participants in total including representatives from provincial directorates, municipalities, local governorships, fishery cooperatives and non-governmental organizations had the chance to express themselves in those 5 meetings throughout the week.

Management plan implementation processes presented

Local working groups have a critical function for the sustainability of the project outcomes and maintaining of the system following the project termination. Those kick-off meetings covered the short brief of the “Strengthening the Marine Coastal Protected Area System of Turkey Project” and presentation of the mission of the local working groups. Besides, preparation and implementation processes of management plans were also presented to the participants.
Specific issues of each single area brought up

Different problems were pointed out depending on the needs and priorities of each SEPA during the meetings. Meeting series stared at Gökova SEPA which was held at Marine and Coastal Protected Areas Training and Implementation Center established in Akyaka as part of the “Strengthening the Marine Coastal Protected Area System of Turkey Project” on June 17, 2013. Bekir ERDOGAN, Protection of Natural Assets Branch Manager of Muğla Environment and Urbanization Provincial Directorate delivered the opening remarks and participants from provincial directorates, local governments, Marmaris Harbour Master, Coast Command, NGOs, fishery cooperatives of Gökova SEPA spoke about their expectations from the planning process and needed revisions of the present management plan of the SEPA.

Two separate local working group meeting were held for Datça-Bozburun SEPA, one in Datça on June 18, 2013 and one in Selimiye on June 19, 2013. The participants expressed their expectations and opinions regarding the management plan of Datça-Bozburun SEPA. The main decision of the meetings was to conduct the studies about the necessary additions regarding the marine areas to the present management plan, determination of the activities, and identification of potential stakeholders until the coming local working group meeting.

The meeting for Köyceğiz-Dalyan SEPA was held in Köyceğiz on June 20, 2013 where DALKO Dalyan Fishery Cooperative President Muhammet AKTAŞ stated that they are supporting any kinds of conservation efforts in Dalyan however a management plan should be prepared in a way that all parties should unconditionally agree on it. On the other hand, Lütfi YILDIZ of Protection of Natural Assets Branch Manager of Muğla Environment and Urbanization Provincial Directorate suggested including Köyceğiz Maritime Affairs Vocational School as a stakeholder for the sustainability of the Project outcomes and management plan should cover capacity building for those students of the school arguing that students who are competent in marine issues in technical terms should gain a visionary perspective with a conservation sense.

At the final local working group meeting of Fethiye-Göcek SEPA held in Fethiye on June 21, 2013, issues such as infrastructural needs of the town municipalities, no-take zones planned for Fethiye Bay, arrangements  necessary for diving activities were brought up and identified as fundamental topics of the management plan to be prepared. 



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