International gathering on saving drying lakes
Academics, NGO representatives and public officials from ten countries in the Middle East, Balkans and Africa are attending the International Gathering on Saving Drying Lakes in Burdur, Turkey, organised by Doğa Derneği (BirdLife in Turkey), next 17-18 September. The aim of this event is to share and exchange knowledge and experience on the reasons and results of drying of lakes, as well as on worldwide action to save and restore them. The gathering is being organised within the framework of the Saving Burdur Lake Project of Doğa Derneği, funded by the MAVA Foundation. Burdur Lake is a rapidly drying site, included in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance, which holds an endemic fish species (Aphanius sureyanus), as well as various species of waterfowl including the endangered White-headed Duck. The lake has lost one third of its water in the last 35 years due to overextraction of underground water for agricultural activities and construction of dams and reservoirs on the rivers that feed the lake. Doğa Derneği is working to prevent the drying up of the lake, as well as to promote wise use of water in agricultural activities in the basin. During the event there will be presentations of various lakes that are partially dried-up or under threat, including the mentioned Burdur Lake, as well as Turkana Lake in Kenya, Hula Lake in Israel, Lake Koroneia in Greece and Urmia Lake in Iran. Plenary sessions will cover issues such as the effects of irrigation and dam policies on lakes, the results of drying of lakes on people and biodiversity and best practices in activism, restoration and wise use for saving drying lakes. Furthermore, Doğa Derneği’s draft policy guide on lake basin management in Turkey will be presented and discussed, as well as opportunities for regional cooperation for preventing drying of lakes. The International Gathering on Saving Drying Lakes is open and free of charge. The final programme of the event will be available on the Doğa Derneği website. For more information: please contact Ayse Sargin, Coordinator of Saving Burdur Lake Project at Doğa Derneği.