Ecological restoration is crucial for reversing biodiversity loss, addressing climate change, and improving community well-being. However, finding suitable sites, feasible projects and local managers can be challenging. The Green Light Protocol of the Alliance facilitates international cooperation to network managers, researchers, and experts towards ecological restoration in the Mediterranean.
The secretariat team of the Mediterranean Alliance for Wetlands, the Tour du Valat and the Mediterranean Conservation Society (AKD) met in Gökçe, Türkiye, to develop a strategy for the Green Light Protocol pilot site.
The Green Light Protocol
Through the Green Light protocol, the Alliance aims to contribute to the ecological restoration movement in the Mediterranean. This protocol supports local organizations in initiating dialogue between stakeholders, developing action proposals and raising funds for a wetland restoration project. This method uses the power of images to achieve a shared vision of wetland restoration.
Gökçe : a unique ecosystem to be conserved and restored
In the Gökova region (Türkiye), the mountains flow into the Aegean Sea. These stunning landscapes have an important biodiversity potential, but are under threat. Urbanisation linked to mass tourism and the development of intensive agriculture are gradually eroding natural areas.
Nearby the village of Gökçe, where the Akcapinar Azmar River meets the sea, there is a unique freshwater coastal ecosystem. This site deserves an in-depth study of its biodiversity and functioning, restoration and protection. Indeed, the functionality of this wetland has been disrupted by human activities: irrigation of farmland could have altered the hydraulic functioning of the site, and the large number of cars on the way to a popular kite surfing spot disturb biodiversity.
To facilitate the projection of the restored site, a landscape architect has worked with the local organization to develop a vision for this area, which is being discussed with local stakeholders.
During the field visit, a two-day workshop was held to define a strategy and action plan. Various participatory methods were used to define the context and map the stakeholders involved. The aim of this restoration project is to recover a site for nature and humans and a new resting and feeding spot for birds.
In order to achieve this goal, a network of experts and stakeholders needs to be created to gather data and develop an appropriate response that will allow for restoration and the necessary changes to be made. This field visit therefore enabled the Tour du Valat restoration experts to diagnose the first stages of the restoration project.
If you are interested in supporting the Gökçe wetland and its restoration project, please contact Lorena Segura.