Project rationale

In Eastern Black Sea, housing many valleys and other natural areas that are significantly rich in natural resources, Çamlıhemşin-Fırtına Valley is significant not only at national but also international scale due to the value of resources contained within. In line with these grounds, a major portion of the region (51,500 hectares) was announced as a "national park", which provides an international protection status, in the year 1994.

Problems that arise due to part of the study site being a national park, an unnamed plateau and thermal tourism having been made since long ago, an increasing pressured continuously acting on the forests and the rapid rise in the tourism demand for the region are the most important problems on ecological balance. In addition to such, collision of the abovementioned problems with certain important investments planned to be realised for the purpose of utilising the water resources for energy demands is another revealing indicator of how severely the region’s physical structure and biological diversity faces danger. Extensive utilisation of unsustainable implementations with the excuse of developing tourism up to this day became an important factor in the deterioration or diminishing of the natural and cultural resources that have been subject to the study.

In line with this, accurate and applicable plans are required for providing sustainable use of the natural resources in the area. However, to that end, it is initially necessary to reveal these natural resources, the adverse conditions that threaten such resources and then the resolutions to these problems. Applicability of all plans may be possible only through ensuring that the local populace and the administrators have adequate knowledge on the value of the regional resources and their preservation.


Therefore, training/informing the parties and the target groups that play active role in the utilisation of the region comprises the prioritised reason of study. Main justifications beneath arranging of a training programme regarding this region may be listed as below:

Absence of a natural resource management plan or long term development plan (master plan) in spite of a major portion of the site belonging to a national park,

Education being the most valid infrastructure for the accurate assessment and implementation of any resource management plans to be prepared in the future,

The site reaching an approximate altitude of 4,000 metres from sea level within a short distance like 50 km from the sea and housing almost all ecosystems and living beings in the site among these altitudes, some of these being non-deteriorated, typical, rare or endemic,

Presence of significant environmental deterioration and hazards produced by local or national demands towards utilisation of the resources housed by the site,

Existence of a rich plateau culture and folklore, presence of many plateaus of which original states have not deteriorated, and increase of various transformation pressures, 

Presence of a somewhat long tourism history of the site that displays a significant population density especially during summer months,

Presence of more than one administrational structure (status) on the site, and the existence of several administrational and environmental problems produced due to such circumstances,

Lack of a scientific study with a holistic and participatory approach towards all natural and cultural resources of the site.