16 December 2016

Marine Protection in the Shadow of Urbanization: Prince’s Islands Case

Kentleşmenin Gölgesinde Denizi Korumak: Adalar Örneği

Metropolises struggles to balance coastal protection and development. One of the most important problems of metropolitan areas is the challenges among the socioeconomic needs, urbanization and sustainability of environment. The regulation and management of ever continuing human pressure on the ecosystem requires a well-functioning network among many government institutions and stakeholders to prevent deterioration of ecosystem. Linking social and economic aspects to the scientific knowledge can produce public awareness of environmental challenges in the future. Those processes will offer stakeholders a novel and robust knowledge base as well as tools for policy discussion that can allow an improved well-being, food security and action on several environmental cases. The key challenge to improve the professional skills and competences of stakeholders, in the context of the sustainability, is to inform them of the ecological impacts of their activity and the need for sustainable practices as well as to embed societal expectations and values into this process. The Sea of Marmara, a good example to see the conflicts between urbanization and marine protection, is one of the busiest international maritime transport routes and also constitutes the second most important fisheries ground of the nation. The fragile ecosystem of the basin is highly vulnerable to anthropogenic perturbations as demonstrated many times in the past decades. The ever continuing risk of oil pollution, overfishing, domestic and industrial wastewater input, new infrastructure and construction might cause oxygen deficiency in lower layer and a tendency towards eutrophication problem. Prince’s Islands, as one of the historical and remaining natural reserves of the Istanbul Metropolitan area, needs strict protection measures, while enabling urban development to support the needs and trade of the archipelago’s residents. The archipelago constitutes a biodiversity hotspot due to the proximity to mainland and geological and bathymetrical features. The Archipelago has a dynamic oceanography driven by the Bosphorus inflow and is located on fish and bird migration route. The region is threatened by pressure increasing with the population rise such as; deep discharge of domestic and industrial waste, urbanization, land fill and coastal construction. Utilization of a nearby deep basin for dumping of dredged material considerably effects the marine ecosystem of the region both in short and long term. Since the region is on one of the busiest shipping routes, invasive species translocated by shipping activities and oil pollution due to both maritime activities and accidents impose a threat on the ecosystem. Despite of the declaration of fishing ban in the vicinity of the Archipelago, overfishing still harms marine ecosystem. The traditional transport system of the islands is surreys and a significant number of horses are based on the islands. The waste produced at the stables are usually directly discharged to the sea without a proper treatment. In general the archipelago constitutes an important social, cultural and natural recreational area for the people of Istanbul. The drawbacks in the ecosystem quality of the area due to urbanization will eventually affect the people both inhabiting the islands and living in Istanbul. RRI approach might provide an efficient discussion platform to find the common ground between local populations, stakeholders, scientists and governmental bodies for the well-being of societies and nature. Smart city applications, knowledge sharing and energy efficient solutions for urban life (e.g.using solar powered cars instead of surreys) can be considered among good examples to RRI approach. Greatest challenge is the sharing responsibilities between different ministries. Financing is the other challenge. In this context, we will utilize RRI approach and a participatory method by running a World Cafe discussion to find a balance between the urban development and coastal protection of the highly vulnerable Archipelago’s ecosystem. immagine Which political, economic, social, technological and environmental measures could be taken to protect the marine ecosystem around the Archipelago? You want to use your creative mind to develop solutions that best serve individual citizens, your local community and the European society at large. You want to make sure that your needs and expectations are taken into account when local, national and European decisions and innovations are being developed.


The workshop is organised by Istanbul University, Institute of Marine Science and Management using the World Cafe methodology.

It will involve citizens, scientists, business representatives, entrepreneurs, local authorities and policy makers in an open dialogue. Together, you will define a common vision and a roadmap of solutions and actions to face this challenge. The results, together with the outcomes of the other MARINA workshops in Europe, will be freely accessible on the MARINA Web Knowledge Sharing Platform, used for identifying lessons learned and best practices and disseminated at European policy conferences.

IU Baltalimanı Sosyal Tesisleri

Baltalimanı Mah., Balta Limanı Hisar Cad. No:58, 34470 Sarıyer/İstanbul