Experts called for the protection of the wetlands in Bodrum, saying that they have important contributions to ecology, tourism and economy.
Businesspeople, members of government and environmentalists gathered in the popular holiday district in Muğla for World Wetlands Day to discuss the future of the natural environment in the region.
The Chambers Union of the Turkish Architects and Engineers, the Bodrum Coordination Board, Chamber of Sea Trade and Blue Road Bodrum held a panel at the Bodrum Chamber of Commerce attended by close to 50 environmentalists.
"There is an urgent need to take the necessary precautions to protect the wetlands of the world which face danger because of drought," said Professor Alpay Tırıl, director of Sinop University’s Gerze Vocational High School. "Of great importance to the ecological and natural habitat, wetlands will seriously affect human life if they are left to vanish."
Tırıl added that wetlands have an undeniably high importance in economy. "Wetlands are the places where the most natural flora exist in addition to being the center of the water supply on earth," explained Tırıl. "They also have a significant economic value. The destruction of wetlands takes away the means of life for many, results in a loss of soil and undermines tourism. We will not be able to find any land to walk on if people keep going after more and more profit."
Environmentalists said wetlands were the most important link in ecological circles and if any intervention was made to the circle, it would break.
Many wetlands, including Sultan Lake, Seyfe Lake, Ereğli Lake, Eşmekaya Lake and Akşehir Lake are now all dried up. Central Anatolia, therefore, has been going through a desertification process for some time. Wetlands also constitute one of the most important aspects in the prevention of global warming. In a joint statement made by the environmentalists, it was emphasized that ecologic circles were seriously harmed. "Wetlands are not protected enough," said the statement. "So the most important factor to battle against the global warming is being defunct. Areas near the wetlands lose a great deal of productivity, seriously harming the ecology in the region."