Doğa, the BirdLife Partner in Turkey, is celebrating the fifteenth year of its foundation. Doğa was founded by a handful of people who believe in the unity and diversity of life. Since the day it was founded, Doğa has been leading or involved in numerous actions to conserve the nature of Turkey.
The new logo, designed especially for the fifteenth year of Doğa, was painted by the painter Gökçe Sümerkan. From the drawings of ancient Anatolian civilizations to the species that Doğa is working on, many visuals are hidden in the new logo design. The chameleon icon from Doğa’s first logo is also part of the new design.
In 2004, Doğa team played a major role in the development of the KBA methodology as part of an international working group and then published the book “Key Biodiversity Areas in Turkey” in 2006 being one of first KBA inventories in the world. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has further developed the KBA method and in 2016 adopted it as a global standard for selection of sites for conservation. The KBA methodology is now being implemented in more than seventy countries.
Doğa has an important role in the protection of many KBAs, especially Gediz Delta. It ran a campaign on a global scale for the protection of Hasankeyf and as a result, the provision of the European credit for the construction of the Ilisu Dam was stopped in 2009. This campaign and other works of Doğa were supported by opinion leaders and artists including Tarkan, Yaşar Kemal, and Sezen Aksu. In 2018, Doğa and the other NGOs working against the major highway project, which threatens the Gediz Delta, have stopped the project as a result of the lawsuit opened by Doga and its allies.
Doğa carried out hands on conservation projects throughout Anatolia ranging from Burdur Lake to the Eastern Black Sea Mountains and Urfa Steppes. By 2005, Doğa launched the Zero Extinction campaign to halt the biodiversity loss in Turkey. Species on which Doğa is working include the Egyptian Vulture, Northern Bald Ibis, Anatolian leopard, Great Bustard, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Sociable Lapwing and Striped Hyena.
In 2011, as a response to the destruction of the rivers and nature of Anatolia, Doga has joined the Great Anatolian March and has become one of the founders of the Turkish Water Assembly. It worked together with the indigenous people of Amazon to protect the Dicle and Amazon rivers. Doğa is currently working to map and conserve Indigenous Production Landscapes of Anatolia, as key habitats for birds and biodiversity and sources of healthy food.
In 2013, Doğa founded the School of Nature (Doğa Okulu) in Izmir, Aegean part of Turkey, in partnership with the Seferihisar Municipality and other partners. The School of Nature works to develop innovative training programs for the preservation of biodiversity and nature culture and serves for the institutionalization of Doğa’s know-how. In 2015, Doğa’s Shop, named Yavaş Dükkan, is founded with the aim of promoting healthy and local products that support the sustenance of biodiversity, particularly at KBAs. Doğa, the partner of BirdLife International in Turkey, continues to conduct several projects in partnership with other organizations for the protection of birds and biodiversity.
Speaking about the fifteenth year of Doğa, Dicle Tuba Kılıç, General Coordinator of Doğa said: “We have achieved many successes and have also failures in our short history of fifteen years. We are proud of our successes and yet, things that we could not succeed taught us new approaches about how we should look at the world and ourselves. Doğa will continue searching for new methods and approaches to conserve nature, based on collective work, without changing its focus of conservation of biodiversity.”