Europe and Central Asia

Turkey - Doğa Derneği (DD)

BirdLife Partner Designate

Founded in 2002
1000 members
Staff: 18
Kizilay Mah, Menekse 2 Sokak 33/5, Ankara, TR
Tel: +90 312 481 2545 ; Fax +90 312 481 2509

Mission of the organisation

Doğa Derneği’s work is driven by the demand to take action to defend nature. Our mission is to defend the rights of nature in all its forms and including all its processes, which are necessary for the creation and sustenance of life.

Key Activities

  • Species and habitat monitoring and protection programs for species from various taxa such as imperial eagle, yelkouan shearwater, great bustard, Egyptian vulture, bald ibis, anatolian mountain crain, sociable lapwing, semi-collared flycatcher, cinereous bunting, bear, striped hyena, goitered gazelle, anatolian leopard, Erzincan milkwort, Euphrates softshell turtle and freshwater fish of Turkey.
  • Implementation of site conservation strategies at 30 KBAs (Key Biodiversity Areas) out of 305 KBAs of Turkey in close cooperation with neighboring countries with transboundary conservation projects.
  • Implementation of national and international campaigns such as the campaign to save the historical town of Hasankeyf - which meets nine out of 10 UNESCO criteria for World Heritage List - and the surrounding Tigris Valley - which is a KBA - from being flooded by the planned Ilısu Dam.
  • Wetland protection and conservation programs in threatened wetlands such as Burdur Lake and Gediz Delta - which are KBAs and Ramsar Sites – that involve eradication of threats and introduction of wetland-friendly production practices both to save these wetlands and to act as a model of intervention for other threatened wetlands. 
  • Establishment of “Nature School” to serve as a nature conservation center for Turkey and the Mediterranean with courses such as applied conservation methods, river basins, landscape and protected area management, species conservation, pastoral ecosystems as well as human ecology.

Recent Achievements

  • Doğa Derneği, together with other leading international conservation organizations, developed a new methodology called ‘Key Biodiversity Areas’ (KBA) to identify, document and protect areas that are critical for the conservation of biodiversity.  KBA criteria are recognized as the most holistic and applicable method for defining nature conservation sites, supported by The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), BirdLife International, Plantlife International, Conservation International, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, and over 100 other national/regional civil society and governmental conservation agencies.

  • Doğa Derneği is the first nongovernmental organization in Turkey to recognize the ‘Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth’. As part of a colloborative effort of nature activists and local people across Turkey, the largest mass movement for nature conservation in Turkey was created under the banner “We Won’t Give up Anatolia’ as a citizen’s initiative with the demand to protect the nation’s water and nature in 2011.

  • The international DAMOCRACY movement was established to debunk the myth of dams as clean energy. A film entitled “Damocracy” was produced to draw attention to the consequences of world’s two largest dam projects: Belo Monte in Brazil and Ilısu Dam in Hasankeyf/Turkey and an international conference was held in Turkey in May 2013 bringing together locals and academics across the world struggling against dams.

  • As a result of our work in 30 KBAs of Turkey: The numbers of endangered bald ibis rose to 150 and the areas they feed and reproduce in Turkey are declared Wildlife Improvement Areas. We have established three “Nature House”s in three KBAs of Turkey: Birecik, Beypazarı and Hasankeyf to spread knowledge on the areas’ species.  Wetland management plans were prepared for Kızılırmak and Gediz Deltas, Ekşisu Marshes, Posof and Kızılkuyu wetlands of Turkey to enable their protection. Research on Turkey’s wetlands of international importance led to the publication of the book ‘Ramsar Areas of Turkey’ in Turkish and English.

Did you know?