Türkiye and World Bank Launch $400M Forest Resilience Project

In the aftermath of devastating fires, Türkiye is pushing to become a global leader in forest fire management.

Fri 31 May 24


Türkiye and the World Bank have launched the Türkiye Climate Resilient Forests Project, a US $400 million plan to bolster the country’s capacity to protect forests and communities to become a global leader in fire management.

According to Bekir Karacabey, Director General of Türkiye’s General Directorate of Forestry, the new project is an essential step in modernising the country’s forest fire management system: “Our nation stands at the forefront, pioneering advanced technologies and holistic approaches to both prevent and suppress wildfires.”

Targeting wildfire suppression and prevention, it will focus on forests and communities in 14 of Türkiye’s most at-risk communities for wildfire, including those in Pazarcık, Kahramanmaraş and Elbistan, Kahramanmaraş, areas impacted by last year’s deadly earthquake.

The February 2023 earthquakes were among the most deadly in modern history. In January, Wood Central covered why buildings in the region were more prone to collapse compared to the recent earthquake in Japan. Footage courtesy of @apnews.

“Today marks a crucial step forward in our commitment to safeguarding communities and ecosystems,” said Humberto Lopez, World Bank Director for Türkiye. “The Türkiye Climate Resilient Forests project underscores our dedication to proactive climate adaptation action and resilience-building.”

In addition to deadly earthquakes, Türkiye is vulnerable to floods, wildfires, storms, and landslides, many of which are driven by climate change. In 2021, the country’s southern and western regions experienced the worst wildfires recorded in recent history. The area of coastal forestland scorched by those wildfires is eight times the size of average annual fires, causing deaths and forcing evacuations of hundreds of residents and tourists.

“Together with the World Bank and our stakeholders, we are charting a more climate-resilient future for Türkiye. We will ensure the well-being of our people and the preservation of our invaluable forest ecosystems, with the vision of emerging as a global leader in forest fire,” Mr Karacabey said.

The 2021 Türkiye forest fires were among the most intense in Europe. Footage courtesy of @skynews.

As per a joint media release from the World Bank and the Türkiye government, the new project is fully aligned with the Türkiye Country Partnership Framework for 2024-2028 and the Country Climate and Development Report, which highlight the importance of forests in the country’s carbon balance.

It also complements other World Bank projects currently underway. These include the $135 million Turkey Resilient Landscape Integration Project (TULIP), which promotes resilient landscape integration, and the $449 million Türkiye Earthquake, Floods and Wildfires Emergency Reconstruction Project, which supports the reduction of wildfire hazards by promoting disaster and climate resilience at the municipal level.


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