Proposals for resolving long due forest ownership conflicts in Turkey (eastern black sea region case study)
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CitationAyaz, H., & Inanc, S. (2019). Proposals for resolving long due forest ownership conflicts in Turkey (eastern black sea region case study). Applied Ecology and Environmental Research, 17(1), 473-495.
This paper discusses the principle causes of forest ownership conflicts and the alternative approaches to resolve them. The current forest legislation in Turkey primarily rejects the private forest ownership rights with very limited exceptions. At present, 99.9% of the country's forest is owned by the state. According to the results, the forest property subject to disputes in the Eastern Black Sea Region where the conflicts is most experienced is about 12% of the total forest area. Nearly half of the conflicted area includes the forests registered in the name of individuals in the past. The non-acceptance of private forest property and the nullification of the old-dated private forest property documents have caused both disappointment in people and damages to the forests. Within the scope of the research, land survey and assessments were carried out in the settlements of the Eastern Black Sea Region, and group meetings were held with the local people to determine the causes of the disagreements as well as the requests and expectations of the local people. In addition, the views and proposals of local forest engineers working as state officers in the region were investigated. The results were presented in tables and alternative recommendations were developed based on statistical evaluations. The results indicated that the existing legislation and practices were not considered appropriate by all the forest villagers interviewed and by 75% of the forest engineers working in the regional forestry administration. Legislative changes are inevitable to better protect the forests and minimize the conflicts. The legal property documents given to the people must be valid in forests subject to private property in the historical process. As a solution proposal, private forests located immediately adjacent to and integrated with state forests should be expropriated, but those intermingled within the agricultural and settlement areas should be left to private property provided that sustainability is maintained The same solution proposal should be valid for the confiscated forests in the course of cadastral works conducted so far.
SourceApplied Ecology and Environmental Research
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