Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer attended the first meeting of the 200-person Forest Volunteers Team, which will be established for a strong, conscious and planned response to possible fires. President Soyer thanked the applicants for the program and said, "We are working to see forest villagers and civil society as stakeholders in the fight against fires."
Izmir Metropolitan Municipality is implementing the action plan within the scope of the forest mobilization that it started, item by item. The first meeting of the 200-person Forest Volunteers Team, which will be established for the strongest, conscious and planned response to possible fires, was held at the Historical Coal Gas Factory. İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer, who came together with the participants of the information meeting organized to volunteer, thanked those who gave voice to the call for volunteering. Stating that huge forest fires have been overcome in many parts of the country, President Soyer said, “Turkey, unfortunately, continues to implement the old forest policies of developed countries. We plant uniform and coniferous trees and see the forest not as an ecosystem but rather as a timber production area. We remove the small cattle, goats and forest villagers that are part of the forest from the forest. "As a result of the climate crisis that ravaged the whole world on the one hand, and the forest policy that increased uniform afforestation on the other, Turkey's forests became even more sensitive to fires," he said.
President Soyer explained the principles
Stating that they started the “One Sapling One World” campaign in İzmir and that they started to repair the green cover of the city with fire-resistant trees, Mayor Soyer said, “İzmir Metropolitan Municipality has adopted innovative principles on forests as in many other issues. We apply the following four principles in afforestation areas and living parks of İzmir. Our first principle is to consider protecting forests and managing them on an ecosystem basis as a public service. Our second principle is to support non-wood forest products such as pasture, honey and forest fruits as an alternative to wood production in our afforestation areas. Our third principle is to make forest restorations that increase biodiversity and are resistant to fire, instead of planting uniform saplings. Our fourth and final principle is to see forest villagers and civil society as stakeholders in our forests and in the fight against fires.”
In the program, Mayor Advisor Güven Eken and İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Fire Department Head İsmail Derse also made presentations on forest volunteering.
Volunteers will be offered two options
Two options will be available for Forest Volunteers. The first option is to take part in the intervention of forest fires and contribute to the fire extinguishing, fire control and cooling works of the firefighters within the framework of safety rules. The second option is to work to protect and restore forests; to actively support field research and restoration programs before or after the fire.