Revive 1000 hectares of the Mugla Sweetgum Forest

by Yaşama Dair Vakıf (YADA Foundation)

Dear GlobalGiving Supporters,

With this summer report we have come to the end of our project. With your generous support, we as YADA Foundation and Nature Conservation Centre have progressed to fulfill our mission in Koycegiz to save the endemic Sweetgum Forest. However, it doesn’t mean that we are terminating our project. We will continue increasing our efforts to achieve our conservation targets. You can always participate to our work and witness the developments through our web sites: and

In the coming future we will concentrate our efforts on;

  • planting new trees and establishing corridors between existing Sweetgum forest patches;
  • establishing eco-tourism ideas on natural values of Koycegiz to strengthen the links between nature and economy of local people;
  • supporting the environmental education activities in the region;
  • developing a macro level approach to conservation and management of Sweetgums in the whole region;
  • increasing the participation of private sector to the conservation efforts;
  • continuing our efforts to determine the socio-economical and historical studies on Sweetgum based issues;
  • and continue integrating all efforts and maintain the participation of local stakeholders as well as local people.

As YADA Foundation and Nature Conservation Centre we are thankful to your support and we believe we made best use of your support.

Thank you.

As you know, YADA Foundation and our partner Nature Conservation Centre, have been achieving conservation results on saving the Sweetgum Forest in Koycegiz, Mugla region, with your support.

As you will remember we have been trying to gather support from corporate companies to the issue for the last year. We have been succeeding on this and during the last period we have gathered some funding from a company from Istanbul to plant 300 sweetgums in the region. Our efforts will continue to raise further funds.

Meanwhile, during the last reporting period local Forestry Department has executed maintenance work for the Sweetgum ecosystem. This is being done to achieve a healthier forest ecosystem for the Sweetgums.

One of the main constraints for restoring the Sweetgum habitat is not having enough lands in Koycegiz, Mugla region suitable for forestation. Due to human pressure almost all of the land other than existing forests is used for agricultural purposes. This year we will be working with local Forestry Department to obtain more lands by converting agricultural areas to forests. This will increase the boundaries of Sweetgum forests nearer to its natural borders.

We are thankful for your generous donation to our project to conserve the sweetgum forests in Turkey.

Thank you.

Sweetgum Forests of Mugla Region has been our concern as this endemic forest has an important conservation value. As YADA Foundation and our partner Nature Conservation Centre we have been working towards this target with your generous support, now more than a year.

 Our key volunteer Okan Ürker, who is one of unique experts of the Sweetgums and Köycegiz region has been carrying out a historical research in the region aiming at the define the state of the forests throughout the last century. The research is focused on defining the use and importance of Sweetgum oil in trade and daily life of the people as well as the changes in the ownership of the forest lands. We believe, these in depth study will help identifying the historical patterns of forest shrinking. And moreover, deliver some tools for conservation today.  The key findings of the study will reveal in 2013.

 On the other hand, we are trying to get the attention of private sector to the Sweetgum Forest issue. Our aim is to obtain further support from corporations and to strengthen our current plantation and conservation efforts. 

 We are thankful for your generous donation to our project to conserve the sweetgum forests in Turkey.


Thank you.

Icebreaker at the SGF Mtg
Icebreaker at the SGF Mtg

As YADA foundation and our project partner Nature Conservation Centre, we have been working on the conservation of 1000 Hectares of the Mugla Sweetgum Forest and this is made possible with your generous support.


During the last months there have been several developments regarding the Sweetgum Forests. Firstly, our advisor for the project, Okan Ürker, has participated in a important meeting in Armenia organized by Rufford SGF and Young Biologists Association (YBA Armenia). Mr. Ürker has presented the status, concerns and activities we are undertaking for Sweetgums in order to increase the profile of our actions and disseminate our experience to a wider community. The participants of the meeting agree to initiate the Borderless Conservation Network in order to maximize conservation efforts in the region. Some photos from the meeting are attached to the report.


Although we have been working in the Köycegiz region for sweetgums, where the species has its highest distribution, sweetgums are also present in other parts of the Mugla province. Our partner Nature Conservation Centre has been granted by GEF Small Grants Program to undertake research and conservation actions towards sweetgums in these regions. This new project is starting in November 2012 and will last 12 months. With this project we will have the opportunity to work on protecting the sweetgums in a broader region and with a broader approach. This new project will ensure the integrity of our actions for conservation.

We are thankful for your generous donation to our project to conserve the sweetgum forests in Turkey.


Thank you.

Okan Urken presenting at the SGF Mtg
Okan Urken presenting at the SGF Mtg
The SGF group
The SGF group
SGF Activity
SGF Activity
Sociological Survey
Sociological Survey

YADA foundation and Nature Conservation CentER, have been overwhelmed by the generous support the Revive the 1000 Hectares of the Mugla Sweetgum Forest project has received in recent months. With your support we
are able to continue our work in Koycegiz Region for the conservation of Sweetgum trees.

We have been working on the social aspects of the Sweetgum conservation during the hot summer days. Local people used to subtract oil from this wonderful tree and it had a high commercial value. Upon degradation of the forest during the past decades this activity was also banned for the sake of the forest. Today, we are looking for sustainable methods to bring this custom to the region without giving any harm to the forest and increase the economy locally. For that aim, we have conducted a questioner in Koycegiz with the locals to understand the perspectives against Sweetgums. The results will be available at the end of the summer. Our aim is
to support sustainable living styles in the region.  

We are thankful for your generous donation to our project to conserve the sweetgum forests in Turkey.

I am sharing two photos from conversations held with locals during questioners, and one picture of an oil team from the 1980s.

Thank you.


Sociological Survey 2
Sociological Survey 2
sweetgum oil team from the 1980s
sweetgum oil team from the 1980s

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Organization Information

Yaşama Dair Vakıf (YADA Foundation)

Location: Istanbul - Turkey
Website: http:/​/​
Yaşama Dair Vakıf (YADA Foundation)
Project Leader:
Angelica Minaya
Istanbul, Turkey

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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