The project named “TR 06 02 16 Saving and sustainable development of biological diversity in Istranca Mountains” supported by EU`s coordinated frontline program of Bulgaria-Turkey and carried out by Ministry of Forest and Environment, Department of Nature Protection and National Parks and General Department of Forest, over the 130 000 Ha land.
In the region, biological diversity inventory has checked via biosphere reserve approximation, social situation has evaluated, management plan has set via participatory approximation and biosphere region candidacy plan has prepared for the acceptance of project region as biosphere zone.
Biosphere candidacy report has approved by Bulgarian authorities but Turkish thus the destruction in this region carries on. The main reason of the destruction is the uncoordinated management which is away from participatory approach. The licences of companies which make business in forest are provided by the Ministry of the Energy Department of Mine. However, these regions are protected by the departments of which are under control of Ministry of Forest and Water Issues and Ministry of Environment and Metropolis.
Regarding to the aim of project, it can be obviously seen that the aim of the project is to fortify the cross-boundary cooperation to protect the nature and biological diversity. And the project concluded on this way.
Unfortunately, in terms of Turkey required technical and corporate social network are not structured as well as it is required to protect the biosphere reserves on Istranca Mountains. One of the biggest reasons behind this issue is governmental company called ISKI (Istanbul Water and Pipe Department) which changes the natural way of rivers and fresh water sources and carry them to Istanbul. In addition the last remained river called Balaban River is considered by the ISKI.
Biosphere plan meeting in 2009 ISKI urges that the Istranca waters are the property of ISKI regarding to the 775th verdict of council of Ministers in 1990. To justify itself ISKI present that statement ” To profit the region society via using the innovative and fairly pricing mechanism, contribute the respond of the basic needs of public in terms of obtaining of log, wood, carbon, and water.” However, scientists report that the natural structure will be destroyed and the 12 point in this region will be destructed irreversibly. Despite the scientists, region society and the comment of authorities the changing would destruct ecosystem.
Biological diversity is not only important for Istranca but also essential for downer basin. Istranca is a source of water for more than 10 million people. While fresh and drinkable water sources are getting less and less, present water sources gain importance. In international basis, Istranca is one of the five most important natural regions in Middle and East Europe in terms of natural inheritance to be protected. Istranca was one the five most important regions in the Europe during the project. After the project studies the Istranca was doomed. Beside the Bulgarian Istranca National Park, The Turkish Istranca Mountains are covered by continuous vegetative forest form. Istranca has different function in two countries. In Bulgaria Istranca is used like biosphere reserve zone but in Turkey it is used as pebble reserve. After two years, 130 places are defined. Some of them are deep spots (known as longoz), more than 30 castles, and beech forest which are very rich in terms of oxygen. In addition medical and aromatic plants have observed.
In the research as part of project, 12 hot points has evaluated and some advices have developed for 11 of them.
1. Igneada Longoz Forests
2. Dupnisa Cave and its environment
3. Taxus Baccata Forest
4. Balaban River and its environment
5. Mutludere (Rezve River)
6. Demirkoy Iron Foundry
7. Mahya Mountain
8. Kasatura Bay
9. Panayir Dock
10. Tekkaya (good for plant diversity and it is accepted as hot point as a result of field works)
11. Derekoy-Border line
12. Kiyikoy

It can be seen that these 12 point cannot be protected. On Istranca Mountains, there are 50 stone mines number of which increase day by day.
In a report which is prepared for Balaban River (one of 12 hot points) by the State Water Supply Administrator (DSI), it is stated that “A report has prepared for the Hydroelectric Plant in Demirkoy Balaban Village in the borders of Kirklareli. The project covers the rivers in Balaban Village. One part of waters of Kazandere and Pabuc River would provide the water needs of industrial zone settled in the Ergene region of Kirklareli-Tekirdag via a dam called Balaban Dam which is settled on Komurkoy and Kizilagac dams and Balaban River.” It triggers some questions about the hot points and their protection methods.
Protection requirements for the Istranca, which is one of the five most important zones in East Europe, has emphasised. (GEF II, Biosphere, 1/100000, and environmental plans). 12 hot points, which are stated above, are in danger. While uncontrolled urbanization and dams on the water source threatening the life on Istranca, the planned stone mine, 600 m away from Dupnisa cave, threatens the natural structure of the cave. Animal farms are built in Mahya Hill, around Taxus Bacata forest. The feasibility reports of Hydroelectric Plant, which is planned to be built on Balaban River, is ready. The biggest conflict is to give licence to a stone mine which is built in front of the nature education centre. Giving a licence to the stone mine which is built in front of an education centre specially designed for children certifies the incoordination between the governmental authorities.
In the project zone 345 plant species newly recorded. 1377 plant species exist in inventory of the flora. A new plant species has observed (Allium rumelicum, M.Koçyiğit & N.Özhatay) and seven have just observed recorded in inventory of Turkey. 14 species have added the fauna of Thrace and 16 species have recorded.
Fauna studies of mammals diverted to three subtitles.
1. Cave Bats
2. Tree Rodents and Tree Bats
3. Small and Big Mammalians
The studies regarding to the caves and avifauna are studied independently.
-The bird inventory in Igneada increase 73 more and reached 258.
-In the field works proliferation records have observed three species for region and five new species for the Turkey.
- 8 new species only observed in the field works.
As a result of field works these conclusions gained,
106 species definitely,
6 species in high probability
16 species probably proliferates in this region. Istranca Mountains nest many cave. 26 caves recorded the inventory three of which were not known before. And also 50 animal species have recorded regarding to these caves. 40 of 50 recorded species are the invertebrates.
Considering the data obtained from project, 12 hot points should be protected in this region. Stone mines causes not only destruction in structure of nature but also shifts in the natural life. Wild animals are not used to hear the voice of earth-movers and dynamites; therefore they tend to get away from this voice. As a result of this the wild animals try to survive in conditions that they have never been before. They mostly are not able to survive in these conditions.
Göksal ÇİDEM