EU Supports Improvement Of Environmental Decision Making In Turkey
The institutional, technical and legislative capacity of Turkey for the effective implementation of the EU's legislation on Spatial Information has been substantially improved through the EU-funded project coming to a close today. Project partners gathered in Ankara on 1 March 2018 to take stock of the results and discuss the way forward. Mr. Ömer Alan, Director-General of the Turkish Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation and Ms. Özge Gökçe Aktaş, Sector Manager at the EU Delegation to Turkey reviewed the project's benefits for environmental decision-making in Turkey.
Aiming to implement the EU's Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe (INSPIRE) Directive, the project substantially improved the technical and institutional capacity of Turkey. Implementation of the INSPIRE Directive, harmonizing geographic and environmental data collection and representation across EU Member States, is an important tool for improving environmental decision making. The data exchange platform helps better address water management, disaster mitigation, public health issues, agriculture management and nature protection. The full implementation of the INSPIRE Directive translates into reducing public administration costs and into clear benefits for the citizen, ranging from improved emergency services to a healthier everyday environment.
The project helped improve the capacity of stakeholders and raise their awareness, and also supported the creation of the first Spatial Data Inventories in four pilot municipalities (Pendik Municipality – İstanbul, Muğla Metropolitan Municipality, Kayseri Metropolitan Municipality and Elazığ Municipality) in line with the INSPIRE Directive. All 34 spatial data themes for which common standards are defined in the Annexes of the Directive – e.g. administrative units, transport networks, elevation, population distribution, protected sites, etc – have been piloted through this project in Turkey. Over 1000 experts/specialists from all relevant institutions benefited from the project worth €4 million.
Taking stock of the project, Ambassador Christian Berger said: "Participatory and transparent environmental decision making is a key element of the EU land planning policy. The EU is happy to support the initial phases of the implementation of the INSPIRE directive in Turkey. When fully implemented, the Directive will ensure improved environmental decision making processes during land planning and will grant better public access to environmental information."