On behalf of our partners and the Koycegiz community, I want to thank you for helping the “Revive 1000 Hectares of the Mugla Sweetgum Forest” succeed in the GlobalGiving Open Challenge. The project is a partnership of YADA Foundation and Nature Conservation Centre. Our collaboration brings our expertise and resources together to preserve the environmental wonder and cultural heritage that is the Mugla Sweetgum Forest.
We want to take this opportunity to update you in our achievements so far and inform you of our next steps.
Work Achieved Up to Date:
· The depredation of the forest was determined and analyses were conducted. A Sweetgum forest conservation strategy was created. Parts of the Sweetgum forest, covering 770 hectares were grouped into 18 areas according to their proximity to each other and they were mapped. Sweetgum deployment area and the threats were determined in each of the 47 sections.
· A booth was set up in the local bazaar to reach the local and raise awareness about the Sweetgum forests. The booth was up for a month and reach 7000 people.
· To raise awareness about the importance of a Sweetgum tree, walls at the entrance of Koycegiz were painted with the theme “Koycegiz and Sweetgum Forests”. The mural was painted with two high school students and a professional team and it took a week to complete. Koycegiz District Governor, Director of Municipality, Director of Environmental Protection Agency for Special Areas, Director of Koycegiz Forestry Directorate, Director of Koycegiz District Ministry of Education, Koycegiz District Director of Public Security were present for the inauguration ceremony of the wall.
· The attitudes of the local decision makers to the Sweetgum forest had a positive change following the project activities. Currently they are looking for our contribution and expertise for major issues concerning the Sweetgum Forests.
· For the last two years, the annual Sweetgum Festival has taken place aimed at promoting the preservation of the Sweetgum forest, its importance and more sustainable forest practices.
· We have planted (as of Dec 30, 2011) a total of 3,000 sampling helping to protect 15,000 Sweetgum trees. Moreover, planting activities were held in the gardens of several local schools with students.
· To continue planting sweetgum trees in order to connect forest patches together.
· To continue activities on awareness raising.
· To continue to annual festival and extend is scope to appeal to tourist.
We are very close to our goal of $7,500. We know that with your collaborations we will reach our goal. Please join our facebook group http://www.facebook.com/groups/sigla/ .
We are very excited about the success of our participation in the Open Challenge. Please check back here for future reports and updates. Thanks!