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

Water is an Asset, not a Resource!

Turkey's water assets are gradually decreasing and deteriorating. TEMA Foundation, which has been working for the protection of natural assets since the day it was founded, underlines that water is not a resource to be used but an asset to be protected and carries out studies both at the legislative scale and at the basin scale for the protection of water assets. In order to draw attention to the fact that existing laws and regulations are not sufficient for the protection of water assets and the contradictions in the legislation, we analyze the current water policies in Turkey and develop policy recommendations.

TEMA Foundation believes in the necessity of a Water Law that aims to protect and develop water. It positions water in the triangle of life-right-asset and underlines that the right to access water is a fundamental and vital right; in this sense, it opposes the view of water as a commercial commodity. It believes that there is a need for a Water Law that will put an end to the multi-headedness in water management and that will be managed under a single law and with a participatory approach. For this reason, TEMA Foundation prepared a Draft Water Law in 2010-2011 with the contribution of academics, consultants, lawyers and experts. Shared in 2012 with decision-makers and the public, TEMA Draft Water Law introduces new legal, administrative and ethical principles and rules for the protection of water assets. Since the publication of the Draft Water Law in 2012, TEMA has been working for the enactment of the law and has been closely following the water legislation.

Participatory River Basin Management Project

About the Project


The project, funded by the European Union, has carried out training and communication activities to increase local capacity on the Water Framework Directive and river basin management and to ensure active participation in river basin committees. The project also included dissemination of good practices and experiences in participation in river basin committees from abroad.

The project was implemented to strengthen civil society participation in the management of 25 river basins, which are the lifeblood of our country, and in the preparation of Basin Management Plans. In the project, which ended in November 2020, local and national activities were carried out to raise awareness on water and basin-based management.



Trainings were organized on different dates for TEMA Foundation representatives and representatives of NGOs working on water issues on the importance of the Water Framework Directive and River Basin Management Plans with the EU accession process and the activities carried out in Turkey. In this context, webinars on River Basin Management and citizen participation in management processes were organized for the relevant stakeholders. Presentations were made on the role of civil society in water management by participating in Basin Management Committee meetings held in different regions. A basin study visit was organized in Zagreb organized by Friends of Earth, one of the project partners, with the participation of officials from the General Directorate of Water Management of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The Participatory River Basin Management project carried out by TEMA Foundation was presented at the International Water Working Group of the European Environment Bureau. In the meeting attended by European Union Member States, the Water Framework Directive, problems and solutions on River Basin Management were discussed. In 2019, "Public - NGO Water Dialogue Meeting" was organized in Ankara with members of the press, NGO and public representatives.

Participatory River Basin Management Project Videos