Author(s): Nihan Yenilmez Arpa1
  • 1. General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Park, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (Retired since January 2022); United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Senior Consultant

Abstract: Protected areas are the most important cornerstones in the protection of natural resources and biodiversity. At the same time, they provide benefits to residents and are also instruments that contribute to the implementation of international agreements. They are known by a multitude of names in different countries and are governed according to both nationally and internationally accepted agreements and/or approaches. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has created a classification system that identifies six categories of protected area according to their management objectives to create a common understanding for each category.nWhile the protected areas are an essential and continually growing approach to conservation, there is difficulties to applicate universally for the conservation of biodiversity. Therefore, apart from national and regional protected areas, various tools and networks also contribute to the effective in-situ conservation of natural resources and biodiversity. 'Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures' (OECMs) have been recognized as an important opportunity to achieve this aim. The OECMs has the potential to promote a new model for conservation that fosters inclusive approaches and equitably governs land, forests, freshwater and oceans to achieve long-term conservation, as well as social, economic, and cultural wellbeing. Today, total 828 number of OECMs in the world. For Türkiye, a case study was carried out and an OECM assessment report prepared for Karacadağ Steppes in the scope of "Conservation and Sustainable Management of the Türkiyes' Steppe Ecosystems Project " that was implemented between 2017-2022 by the FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. It is the first case for Türkiye and introduced the OECM approach to the policy agenda as well.