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