Garanti BBVA is supporting a WWF Turkey program that aims to protect nature by helping to fight forest fires. The WWF Fire Management Grant Program provides local civil society groups financial and technical support to implement the projects they develop related to forest fires.
According to official data, an average of 2,000 to 3,000 forest fires break out every year in Turkey, damaging 7,000 to 8,000 hectares of forest - the equivalent of 11,000 soccer fields. Damage from the fires are estimated to reach billions of TL, not including ecosystem services.
Garanti BBVA CEO Recep Baştuğ explained the bank’s collaboration with WWF Turkey: "We are partnering with our 30-year companion WWF Turkey to protect the wealth of our natural resources and forests, launching the ‘Turkey's Life: Fire Management Grant Program'. Our goal is to protect our forests from fire and to take action together to be more aware and better prepared for possible forest fires.”
Recep Baştuğ added that local initiatives, such as associations, foundations, cooperatives and village leaders play a critical role in this process. “We believe that these initiatives will be much more effective in their respective regions with our support. We are thrilled to collaborate with WWF Turkey on this meaningful project," he said.
Nafiz Karadere, Chair of WWF-Turkey, said: "Our aim is to mobilize local civil potential and to implement the action plan adopted by national stakeholders at the workshop organized by the General Directorate of Forestry after the major fires last year. Work to prevent fires, as well as the restoration and rehabilitation afterwards, are both equally important as the task of putting out the fire.” The program will be open for applications throughout the year. Future applications will be quickly evaluated and can then begin implementation.”
Projects included in the program must last 6 to 24 months and can address three areas: prevention studies and preparations in the pre-fire period; effective participation in extinguishing efforts and disaster management during the fire; and restoration of environmental losses and improvement of socio-economic losses, after the fire.
Each selected project will receive between 50,000 TL and 500,000 TL, and those in charge of the project, or a partner, must contribute at least 10 percent of the budget in cash or in kind. All regions of Turkey exposed to forest fires can apply. Those interested in applying can email their applications to firstname.lastname@example.org from June 1, 2022 and December 31, 2023.