Investments in mining and energy have accelerated in our country, and various problems have emerged due to the fact that planning is not handled with an interdisciplinary approach.
Failure to prioritize energy efficiency/savings in the energy focus, insufficient incentives for the development and use of energy production technologies compatible with nature, failure to carry out EIA processes based on scientific and ethical standards and Supreme Public Welfare, and consumption-oriented habits cause irreparable damage to the whole of nature, especially forests and agricultural areas.
With 2012 being declared 'the year of coal', mining and thermal power plant activities have accelerated, and due to the ecological and public health problems caused by these activities, coal-fired thermal power plants have become an essential and prioritized field of study under the heading of mining and energy policies. This process started to evolve in a different direction with Turkey's ratification of the Paris Agreement in 2021 and the 2053 Net Zero Commitment. In this context, as TEMA Foundation, we continue our activities against coal mining and thermal power plants, develop policy recommendations, and monitor privatized thermal power plants that have not completed their environmental investments in order to protect our agricultural areas and water assets. TEMA Foundation has established the website komuretme.org within the scope of its activities on coal power plants and coal mining. This website includes Turkey's coal report card as well as news on coal in the world. The website, which also includes scientific reports on issues such as the environmental impacts of coal mining and coal-focused energy production and its relationship with climate change, aims to inform the public about the ecosystem problems and public health problems caused by coal.
The Foundation also carries out legal work against thermal power plants that threaten the soil, water and air in many parts of Turkey. Instead of thermal power plants, which cause serious damage to nature and human health, the Foundation prepares policy notes on alternative energy sources, energy efficiency and conservation to reduce the need for energy, and demonstrates with scientific data that Turkey is not doomed to thermal power plants and that a different energy and development policy is possible.
The most important problems are the lack of consideration of cumulative impact and cost-benefit balance in mining practices in Turkey, and the preference for cyanide leaching, which causes permanent damage to nature and socio-economic life, especially in metallic mining.
TEMA Foundation closely monitors energy and mining projects due to their irreversible impact on water and soil assets, conducts scientific and legal studies against projects that it believes will have a negative impact on the ecosystem, and brings the issue to the public agenda by organizing campaigns and raising awareness when necessary.
In this context, TEMA Foundation closely followed the Kirazlı Gold Mine Project in the Kaz Ida region, which left its mark on the summer of 2019. The Foundation found that trees were cut down 4 times more than what was stated in the EIA processes and initiated a legal process to stop the investment. The petition to stop the "Kirazlı Gold Mine" Project reached more than 651,000 people, making it the environmental campaign with the highest number of signatures on the online petition platform change.org in 2019. The Foundation continues to work intensively on metallic mining activities, which can be carried out anywhere according to the legislation despite their irreversible destruction of nature. In this context, a report titled Mining in the Kaz Ida Region was published in order to demonstrate through the Kaz Ida region that the current legislation makes all of Turkey's natural assets open to mining. Work on the legislation that causes this situation is ongoing.