African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6576


The legal aspects of public participation in forest management in Turkey

Yusuf Günes and Aynur Aydin Coskun*
Department of Forest Law, Faculty of Forestry, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 20 April 2010
  •  Published: 04 July 2010


Dealing with forest resources management, “participation” emerged as a central theme. There has, for some time, been a growing recognition within the government and society at large that the future of sustainable forest management in Turkey depends on more effective participation of multiple stakeholders. Along with growing appreciation of the potential benefits, these has become more systematic in understanding the factors that currently inhibit wider and more effective use of participatory techniques in Turkey. Over the last decade, there has been a succession of studies pointing to the conclusion that current forest management practices, entrenched institutional arrangements and attitudes, and poorly adapted laws are major constraints on participatory forest management. With specific reference to the legal framework, there is a growing consensus that Turkish legislation falls short of these in most developed countries. This acts as a constraint on participation because of its command and control approach, in which most decisions are made by the state. The principle of rule of law is to ensure compliance and penalise non-compliance with those decisions and the law does not fully reflect current social, economic and environmental realities. The purpose of this study is to focus on the strengths and weaknesses of Turkey’s forest law per se, by highlighting some international lessons and practices that might be useful to Turkey as it considers what future steps should be taken in improving the legal framework for participation in forest management. As a result, this study concluded that public participation requires a well established legal system, public sensitivity and local knowledge for a better participatory forest management.


Key words: Public participation, forests, management, planning, legislation.