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Forest Hero Award
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TEMA Foundation Co-founder and Honorary President Mr. Hayrettin Karaca received the 'Forest Hero Award' from the United Nations. Along with Mr. Karaca Hayrettin Karaca, five other activists were selected as Forest Heroes among 47 candidates from 30 countries.

The awards were presented on 10 April 2013 in a ceremony in Istanbul as 197 member states meet at the 10th session of the United Nations Forum on Forests.

In addition to the Forests Heroes from Brazil, Rwanda, Thailand, Turkey and the U.S., the winners of the International Forest Short Film Festival and the International Forest Photograph competition also received awards.

Mr. Karaca delivered an emotional speech in the Award ceremony stating“It is not possible to say that we are going through a very positive period for our forests. We can't tell the difference between forests and tree cultivation. This results in the destruction of our forests on a global scale. Forest is not a group of trees lined side by side; it is an ecosystem with its fauna and flora. To give examples from my country, forest areas that regenerate on its own are rapidly decreasing,but on the other hand very successful forestation activities are conducted. Of course forestation works also contribute to life, but the ecosystem services forests provide are always greater, one can't even compare the two.”

Hayrettin Karaca, also declaring that the UN has given great responsibility to him by declaring him a Forest Hero since: "Knowledge grows as it is shared. I try to share what I know on every occasion in every setting. The value Turkish people are attachşng to their forests are increasing every day. One day it will be realized that a forest is an ecosystem. I believe in that.'

*More pictures from the ceremony are available on TEMA Facebook page.

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