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• In Turkey, the General Directorate of Forestry (OGM) is primarily devoted to timber production, and it does not show the necessary commitment and expertise in the management of urban forests to deliver multifunctional green infrastructure benefits.
• OGM needs to restore the priority it initially made towards urban forests. To achieve this, a new approach needs to be developed based upon scientific principles and the adoption of best practice.
• To improve urban forest governance, OGM needs to work effectively in partnership with other public institutions, municipalities, universities, local citizens groups and non-governmental organisations with regards to urban forest site selection, planning and ongoing management.
• Diverse professionals, besides technical forestry staff, should be included in these endeavours right from project inception stage. These should include architects, arborists, urban planners, psychologists and landscape architects.
• Practices should be shaped according to the needs and expectations of the urban population and should aim to be fully participative and inclusive in this respect, making maximum use of local knowledge.
Urban forests are considered an important resource for introducing forests and forestry to urban society in Turkey, with the number having risen rapidly to 133 since their introduction in 2003. Unfortunately, following initial decisive and determined actions to establish urban forests by the General Directorate of Forestry, the momentum has now been somewhat lost with the consequence that many urban forests are now falling into in a state of neglect. This study aims to determine what needs to be done in terms of the regulation, planning and management of urban forests in order to help society to make better use of the resources and services that these areas can provide. The study will also develop recommendations which aim to improve the standards of urban forest governance.Assessment results indicate that, in order to improve the management of urban forests, the legal framework needs to be structured in such a way that highlights the characteristic features of urban forestry whilst also ensuring increased levels of public participation. In addition, it is essential that a diverse range of public bodies, citizens’ groups, NGOs and experts from different professional backgrounds are involved in the selection, planning and management of urban forests from inception through to delivery and throughout ongoing day to day management procedures. Participation should also include experts and organisations from outside the forestry sector.
Journal: Urban Forestry & Urban Greening - Volume 19, 1 September 2016, Pages 158–166