CAMP "The Bay of Izmir" (Turkey)

Project area

The Bay of Izmir is one of the largest bays of the Turkish Aegean coast. It extends about 24 km in the east-west direction and its average width is about 5 km. From the standpoint of its topographical and hydrographical characteristics, this L-shaped bay consists of three sections: the Inner Bay, the Middle Bay, and the Outer Bay. The geological composition of soils and steep hillsides make the area prone to powerful erosion processes. It also falls within a first-degree seismic risk region and the earthquakes have been very frequent. Encompassing the Bay of Izmir, the area of the Metropolitan Municipality of Izmir (MMI) is a terrain ranging in height from 0 to 1,000 m above sea level. The population pressure in the MMI (the third largest city of the country) is enormous. According to some estimates, the population of approximately 2 million at the end of 80's will double in the next 30 years. In the MMI there are several areas of outstanding value: the Izmir sanctuary, the Camalti saltpan and Homa Daylan wetland area, hot and mineral springs in Balcova, and forest areas of the Mediterranean flora.

Major problems and issues

The environmental situation of Izmir, particularly that of its Bay area, suggests that the natural systems are no longer able to accommodate the pressures of human activities. The development has brought about a series of conflicts of interests over the use of resources which have not only resulted in a deteriorated state of natural systems but also in a diminished capacity of the systems to produce enough high-quality goods and services the area has traditionally been providing (fisheries, tourism, agriculture, etc.). Characteristics of the situation found may be summarised as follows:

* Urban development, reflecting high population growth, is continuing around the bay area and consuming the scarcest resources – the land. Urban waste waters are one of the major sources of pollution of the bay.
* Water discharges by the industries situated around the bay have critically affected the water quality and cut down the opportunities for recreation, tourism and fishing.
* Because of accidents they may cause, port facilities in the eastern part of the bay, as well as navigating vessels, present constant threat to the bay ecosystems.
* Loss of cultivated land to residential purposes on the one hand, and increasing demands for agricultural produce on the other, have reduced the nature conservation areas, decreased the level of flood protection, and increased soil erosion.
* The decision to build a waste water treatment plant in the delta of the Old Gediz River has been a response to the urgent need for an adequate sewerage system. However, the proposed solution for the disposal of treated effluent into the old bed of the Gediz River will probably affect the marine environment of the Middle and the Inner Bay.
* Discharges of domestic and industrial waters, urban and agricultural run-off, sediments and contaminated waters from rivers and streams have had a cumulative adverse impact on the water quality and natural characteristics of the Inner Bay, resulting in eutrophication.
* Many problems relative to the environmental degradation and pollution of the Izmir area result from institutional drawbacks, such us: insufficient cross-sectorial (horizontal) and institutional (vertical) co-ordination and integration of activities at various institutional levels; divergence in policy objectives pursued by various authorities; lack of funds for environmental purposes including the development of a consistent ecological monitoring; absence of an adequate system of integrated planning and management.

Project activities and results

The involvement of MAP and PAP in Izmir started in 1987, as one of the first area-specific activities of MAP called Country Pilot Projects (CPPs). At the end of 1989, it became one of the projects within the MAP Coastal Area Management Programme. The CAMP "The Bay of Izmir" was officially launched in June 1990 following an agreement signed between the Turkish Government and MAP.

Country Pilot Project - CPP (1987-1989)

Owing to the active involvement of Turkish authorities, institutions and experts and the effort of PAP experts, the work in the period 1987-1989 yielded very good results and fulfilled the objectives set, namely:

* to identify and propose urgent measures towards the improvement of the state of the Izmir Bay;
* to create appropriate conditions for carrying out actions in the field of liquid waste collection, treatment and disposal; and
* to organise training and preparatory activities leading to the preparation of an integrated plan for the MMI.

CAMP (1990-1993)

A total of 11 activities envisaged by the Agreement may be divided into the following groups:

* implementation of Protocols signed by the Mediterranean countries (Land-based Sources of Pollution and Dumping Protocol; Emergency Protocol and MARPOL Convention; monitoring of pollution; specially protected areas);
* activities relative to the recovery of the Izmir Bay (Study of the assimilative capacity of the bay; Study of the recovery of the Inner Bay of Izmir); and
* establishment of the ICAM process (training programme on GIS; EIA for the submarine outfalls; development-environment scenarios; integrated management study; implications of expected climatic changes).

 

Follow-up

The results of the CAMP "The Bay of Izmir" were presented during a meeting held in Izmir on 29-30 October 1993. The most important recommendations of this meeting, organised by the Turkish Ministry of the Environment and the Metropolitan Municipality of Izmir, was that an Integrated Coastal Master Plan should be prepared in the 3-5 year period with the objective to create conditions for making operational decisions in the implementation of the ICAM process, relative to the realisation of the concept of sustainable development in the area concerned.

 
 
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