World Bank, Turkiye launch $400 million project to make forests more resilient to wildfires

Türkiye’s14 provinces most at risk for wildfires home to 20 million people, says bank

The World Bank and Türkiye launched a $400 million Türkiye Climate Resilient Forests Project to strengthen the country’s capacity to protect people and forests from wildfires.

“Türkiye is vulnerable to floods, wildfires, storms,and landslides, some of which are frequent and are driven by climate change impacts,” the Bank said Thursday in a statement. “In 2021, Türkiye’s southern and western regions experienced the worst wildfires ever recorded in recent history.”

The newly-launched project aims to support the government in strengthening wildfire management, including the resilience of forests and people against wildfires, and the increasing risks of climate change in the country’s 14 provinces that are the most at risk for wildfires, it said.

The provinces are home to 20 million people, many of whom depend on forestland for their livelihoods, according to the international financial institution.

“In the face of escalating wildfires that tragically claimed lives in 2021, Türkiye is proud to lead the charge in modernizing forest fire management,” said Bekir Karacabey, director general of the General Directorate of Forestry (OGM) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Türkiye.

“Our nation stands at the forefront, pioneering advanced technologies and holistic approaches to both prevent and suppress wildfires. The world looks to Türkiye as a beacon of innovation and resilience in safeguarding our forests and communities,” he added.

Humberto Lopez, World Bank Country Director for Türkiye, said the project emphasizes the institutions’ dedication to “proactive climate adaptation action and resilience-building.”

Other World Bank projects with Türkiye include the $135 million Resilient Landscape Integration Project and the $449 million Türkiye Earthquake, Floods and Wildfires Emergency Reconstruction Project that supports the reduction of wildfire hazards by promoting disaster and climate resilience at the municipal level.

Source: aa

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