TEMA, The Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion, for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Habitats

No Soil, No Life!

Planning is a set of decisions at national and urban scales. Investment decisions taken at sectoral and national scales, regional development principles and zoning plans that shape urban space at the urban scale affect water, soil assets and biodiversity. Therefore, adopting an ecosystem approach in spatial planning, making plans effective in preventing the misuse of agricultural and pasture lands, making plans effective in preventing and adapting to climate change, and protecting natural and cultural identities are the basic conditions for the realization of sustainable land use policies throughout the plan stages.   Based on this assumption, TEMA Foundation closely monitors spatial planning decisions and upper scale investment decisions and intervenes in planning processes through legal struggle. To date, TEMA Foundation has initiated legal processes against the sections of the 1/100.000 scale Environmental Plans and Integrated Coastal Area Plans that may pose a threat to natural assets. 

Soil Conservation Boards

The most important threats facing our soils are the misuse of agricultural lands, destruction of nature conservation areas, erosion and improper land management. With the enactment of the Soil Conservation and Land Use Law No. 5403 through the efforts of TEMA Foundation and the declaration of Great Plains as of 2017, an important step has been taken for the protection of soil assets and agricultural areas. The Soil Conservation Boards established under the law are an important tool for the protection of soil and agricultural areas at the local scale. In many provinces, TEMA Foundation representatives participate in the boards and work to protect agricultural lands from misuse.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

Environmental impact assessment, in its broadest sense, is a process that examines the potential consequences of a project on the environment. Compared to many other mechanisms for environmental protection, the focus of environmental impact assessment is on anticipating and preventing undesirable impacts. Therefore, EIA is an important tool used in the decision-making process of investments that will threaten the environment and human health. However, with economic growth, increasing production needs accelerate investments in sectors such as energy, mining and construction. This makes nature protection an increasingly challenging process. At this point, TEMA Foundation believes that all impact assessment mechanisms should be operated in a holistic and effective manner. TEMA Foundation monitors both legislative changes regarding EIA and EIA processes in activities that threaten the environment and human health, such as coal-fired power plants and gold mines, and initiates legal proceedings when necessary.

Click here for information on lawsuits related to EIA legislation and practices.

Click here for the Regulation on Environmental Impact Assessment.

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

Unlike EIA processes, SEA is applied to plans and programs and aims to integrate environmental considerations into the preparation and approval of plans/programs that are expected to have significant impacts on the environment. The legislation on the implementation of SEA in Turkey is the Regulation on Strategic Environmental Assessment, which entered into force in 2017. TEMA Foundation submitted its opinions and suggestions during the preparation process of the Regulation and filed a lawsuit for the annulment of the provisional article of the Regulation, which will be implemented after 2023 for sectors such as energy and industry. 

Click here for the Strategic Environmental Assessment Regulation. 

Click here for information on EIA decisions and EIA and SEA practices from the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization General Directorate of EIA, Permit and Inspection.

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