Turkey Plans to Dam its Sole Biosphere

macahel-valleyFarmers in northeastern Turkey are furious at the government’s plans to flood the verdant region with eight hydroelectric dams.

According to the Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey is scrambling to meet its energy needs, and the Macahel basin is one of 550 sites in the Black Sea area marked for dams.

The Macahel Basin was declared a UN Biosphere because of its unique honeybee species, including some of the only genetically pure Caucausus bees in the world.

The dams in Turkey are a classic example of energy needs coming up against environmental priorities, such as Israel’s newest coal-fired power plant or Jordan’s bid for nuclear energy.Hurriyet reports that the head of Camili, the main village in the area, said the dams cut against a carefully cultivated local relationship with the land.

“We used to cut down the trees for wood, but then realized that this would not be sustainable and switched to beekeeping,” he said, adding that locals had begun to impose a ban on plastic bottles in the region five years ago.

“And just when we were getting results, this hydroelectric dam problem came up,” he said.

The dams’ supporters say there is nothing contradictory in putting up hydroelectric power plants – based on renewable energy – even if they are in a biosphere. The first dam will be 5.05 megawatts, and should be completed within the year.

According to company representative Hayretting Gülbin, although the dam will require the uprooting of 600 trees, the company has promised to pay the Environmental Ministry enough to plant and maintain 2400 trees for the next five years.

::Photo from Hurriyet

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4 thoughts on “Turkey Plans to Dam its Sole Biosphere”

  1. Here is another reason why it’s a priority for the Middle East to cooperate in resource trading: water from Turkey can run to water stressed Palestine, Jordan and Israel. In return it makes good economic and environmental sense to link the power grids of Egypt and Saudi Arabia (using natural gas, a better source than the coal Israel uses) to Israel, Palestine and up to Turkey via Jordan and Syria. This grid will carry wind and solar power when solar thermal and concentrated PV system go on line in the coming decade and balance out the drops of production that interspersed cloud cover causes.

  2. Sounds like what’s happening in the bogs in the UK. Green power producers are marching in erecting wind turbines with little regard for nature and its aesthetics. Although in this case, it looks like a lot more than just the view will be ruined. This is a prime reason why industrialists need to be better educated on environmental issues.

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