Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum stated that mucilage shows that climate change, pollution, ecological life, sustainable production and consumption activities, and the implementation of a circular economy cannot be considered independent issues.
Minister Kurum attended the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Environment, Climate and Energy" held at the historical Palazzo Reale Palace in Naples, Italy.
After his speech in the first session of the meeting titled "A Natural Capital for Conservation and Management", Minister Kurum made a speech in the afternoon titled "Joint Efforts for Sustainable and Circular Resource Utilization".
Mr. Kurum said that Turkey is tested with different problems every year due to the negative effects of climate change. This year, Turkey is struggling with mucilage in the Sea of ??Marmara. It has once again shown how significant the regional impacts of climate change can be.
Stating that they have seen the mucilage problem in Australia, New Zealand, Baltic, Adriatic, Tyrrhenian, and Alboran seas before, the Institution said that they examined the methods followed by other countries, especially Italy, which struggled with the same problem. Within this scope, restrictive measures were taken for all kinds of pollutants reaching the Marmara Sea. He emphasized that they have prepared a "Marmara Sea Protection Action Plan" consisting of 22 items.
Minister Kurum stated that they carry out scientific studies on many topics such as the declaration of the Marmara Sea as a Conservation Area with the action plan, the conversion of wastewater treatment plants in the region to advanced treatment systems, and the reuse of treated wastewater.
"However, mucilage showed us that climate change, pollution, ecological life, sustainable production and consumption activities, and the implementation of the circular economy could not be considered as independent issues. Therefore, the implementation of the three main UN Conventions on climate change, desertification, and biodiversity, sustainable environment In this sense, we, as Turkey, are trying to find solutions to the environmental problems in the world and the region with our national action and development plans we have prepared. The importance of using our resources economically and switching to circular economy practices is increasing day by day."
Mr. Kurum emphasized that Turkey contributes to its sustainable development by protecting natural areas with the Zero Waste Project carried out under the auspices of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's wife, Emine Erdoğan.
Stating that they have reduced the use of plastic bags by 75 percent in Turkey, Minister Kurum stated that they have increased the recycling rate with zero waste to 22.4 percent and that they have prevented 3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, a rate reached by only a few countries in the world.
Mr. Kurum continued as follows:
"We are working with the Turkish Environment Agency to expand our mandatory deposit practices, which we will start in 2022, throughout the country. Protecting the seas is of vital importance for our country, surrounded by seas on three sides. With Zero Waste Blue, we purify our water resources from all kinds of pollution. As of 2021, Turkey's 519 beaches and 22 marinas have gained blue flag status with the work we have carried out. Our country ranks third in the world in terms of blue flag beaches.
Minister Kurum stated that they take an extremely active role within the scope of the Bucharest and Barcelona conventions and that they will host the 22nd Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention between 7-10 December 2021 in Antalya. In this sense, he said that he found extremely valuable Italy's term Presidency and its suggestions and emphasis on biological diversity and environmental protection.
After the Environment Ministers meeting ended today, the G20 will continue with the Climate and Energy Ministers meeting tomorrow.