|Wikileaks:||View 02ANKARA8870 at Wikileaks.org|
|Tags:||SENV TBIO KPAO TU|
|Redacted:||This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 008870 SIPDIS STATE FOR EUR/PGI (COOK), EUR/SE, OES/PCI, OES/ENV, OES/ETC PLEASE PASS EPA (BFREEMAN, APHILLIPS, HHUYNH) and NSF POSTS FOR ESTOFF E.O.12958: N/A TAGS: SENV, TBIO, KPAO, TU SUBJECT: TURKEY: ENVIRONMENTAL HIGHLIGHTS, OCTOBER-NOVEMBER REF: ANKARA 7032 (U) This is one of a series of cables providing updates on environmental issues in Turkey. Below are topics covered in this cable: 1. Legal issues are the most reported in Turkey's media. 2. More WSSD Follow-up. 3. Turkey's researchers compete for EU funding. 4. Ankara measures spike in air pollution. 5. Cooperation increases among Black Sea oceanographers. 6. Update on NATO Science projects --------------------------------------------- -- 1. LEGAL ISSUES ARE THE MOST REPORTED ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES IN TURKEY'S MEDIA. During FY 2002, print and on-line news sources in Turkey published more articles on the legal aspects of the environment than on any other environmental issue, according to an informal content analysis performed by the Ankara Regional Environmental Office. The REO pulled 282 articles from 50 print and on-line sources on environment, science, technology and health issues during the fiscal year. Most (35 articles, or 13 percent) were on domestic and international environmental laws and agreements, followed by 31 articles (11 percent) on pollution, 29 (10 percent) on water and waste infrastructure, and 27 (9 percent) on biodiversity. Most articles (38) were published in January 2002. Articles in the most featured category, domestic and international environmental regulations, covered amendments to environmental regulations, international S&T and funding agreements, and discussed good governance issues. Of pollution-related articles, half were on pollution of Turkey's seas (Black, Mediterranean, Aegean) and one-third on air pollution. Of articles on infrastructure, 40 percent were on water distribution and treatment systems and one third on solid waste disposal plants and methods. Half of the health-related articles were on HIV/AIDS. Thirty five (35) percent of the NGO-related articles were on hazardous and toxic wastes. 2. MORE WSSD FOLLOW-UP. The Ministry of Environment (MOE) advised that coming out of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), the Ministry's top two priorities became preparing for EU accession and strengthening its capabilities in sustainable development. GOT added WEHAB (water and sanitation, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity), good governance, and trade and finance to its list of environmental priorities. The most difficult area that Turkey wrestled with in Johannesburg was targets for renewable energy, due to the country's reliance on hydropower. As a follow-up to the summit, Turkey will work towards achieving its Millennium Declaration targets, continuing its poverty reduction program and strengthening its GOT-NGO partnership. The GOT found the call by the UN General Secretary to fight AIDS constructive. 3. TURKEY'S RESEARCHERS COMPETE FOR EU FUNDING. Research and academic institutions in Turkey have submitted a record number of proposals (350) to the European Union as they compete for 600 million euros available for funding for international cooperation on research and projects supporting EU policy directives under the Sixth Framework (environmental) program. At an international conference (10/14) attended by researchers from 27 Mediterranean and Black Sea countries, the director of the European Commission's Research Directorate General, Dr. Christian Patterman, saluted Turkey for submitting more proposals than any non-member state in the funding program's history. The EU received 11,700 proposals this year for 2.2 billion euros. Patterman added that the EU will introduce no new directives that are not based on sound science and will require a Sustainability Impact Statement (SIS) for every project. 4. ANKARA MEASURES A SPIKE IN AIR POLLUTION. A quick but sharply felt spike in particulate matter in the air raised concern in Ankara about the potential intensity of this winter's air pollution measurements. Though within maximum allowable standards of Turkey's Air Pollution Control Regulation (400 ppm), measurements for Ankara's particulate matter reached 207 ppm on 11/21 before a rainstorm washed levels down to 58 two days later, well below normal WHO acceptable standards (125 ppm). Embassy will follow air pollution levels closely this winter to assess possible linkages to allergic rhinnitis or upper respiratory environmental illnesses. 5. COOPERATION TO INCREASE AMONG BLACK SEA OCEANOGRAPHERS. At the annual meeting of the Steering Committee of the Black Sea Global Oceanographic Observing System (BSGOOS), an association formed in 1998 to foster regional oceanographic cooperation, Committee members received a draft BSGOOS Strategic Action and Implementation Plan (http://www.ims.metu.edu.tr/black_sea_goos/) and moved for increased BSGOOS' linkages to related programs, including Baltic GOOS, MedGOOS, MedGLOS, MERSEA, the EU's ARENA (training) program, and others. 6. NATO PROJECT UDPATES Of the 100 NATO Science for Peace (NATO SfP) projects funded since August 2001, Turkey has been a part in 10. This month, three NATO SfP and one NATO Committee on the Challenges of the Modern Society (NATO CCMS) projects were visibly active. -- NATO CCMS PROJECT DEMONSTRATES HOW U.S. MANAGES ENVIRONMENT. A multidisciplinary group of professionals from 13 countries learned how the U.S. manages environmental issues at an environmental management workshop in Mugla (near the Aegean, 11/25 - 29) led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service John Wolflin, with additional support from USEPA. The project assists professionals in balancing competing interests for natural resources. NATO Committee on the Challenges of the Modern Society (NATO CCMS) has funded this project since 1995. -- NATO SCIENCE FOR PEACE (SfP) CO-SPONSORS OCEANOGRAPHY CONFERENCE. NATO SfP co-sponsored a scientific conference that brought together 140 researchers and government officials from 27 countries, demonstrated regional cooperation and presented research on two strategically important bodies of water -- the Black Sea and the eastern portion of the Mediterranean Sea. The Office of Naval Research and the Institute of Marine Sciences of Turkey's Middle East Technical University were among the co-sponsors of the conference in Ankara (10/14- 18). -- NATO SfP SUPPORTS BLACK SEA RESEARCH. There was wide agreement that the most important research presented at the oceanography conference (above) came from the U.S. Research Vessel Knorr (R.V.Knorr) on a grant from U.S. National Science Foundation. A research cruise conducted in collaboration with NATO SfP in May/June 2001 with 48 researchers from Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine found data that suggests that there is a downward trend in the nutrient concentrations (e.g., phosphate, nitrate) in the Black Sea. The research does not identify the cause of the downward trend, but it does offer the most comprehensive data to date that indicates that the world's largest anoxic inland sea may be recovering from smothering eutrophication. With such a recovery would come strengthened tourism and fishing industries for the economically strapped littoral countries. (Note: the R.V. Knorr will return to the Black Sea for additional research in spring 2003). -- NATO SfP BLACK SEA ECOSYSTEM PROJECT TO EXTEND. A four- year NATO SfP project among leading marine research institutions in the six littoral countries entitled "Black Sea Ecosystem Processes and Forecasting/Operational Database Management System" is designed to explore and quantify the variability of Black Sea ecosystems and develop a database and management system for near real-time use. Up next for this project is a training program on database management for scientists from the Black Sea countries and an end-users conference, both in Sevastapol, Ukraine.
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