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Uluabat Lake, Turkey


Uluabat Lake is one of the most important lakes of Turkey because of its biological diversity. The lake is declared as a Ramsar Area in 1998. In 2000, it has also become part of the Living Lakes network that ranks the most important lakes of the world. Despite its importance, Uluabat Lake is under threat due to ineffective implementation of local and national policies in the area. The lake and its basin are affected by many human-driven external factors. Dam constructions, domestic waste, industrial waste, overfishing, overuse of pesticides are the main issues.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Uluabat Lake, Turkey
State or province:Bursa
Location of conflict:Karacabey, Nilfer, Mustafakemalpaa
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biodiversity conservation conflicts
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Wetlands and coastal zone management
Specific commodities:Fish
Industrial waste
Domestic municipal waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Current situation in Uluabat Lake consists of the preparation of a management plan by the Ministry, putting it into practice and organizing periodical meetings. Currently, there is not a project being implemented in the area.

Project area:24623
Type of populationSemi-urban
Start of the conflict:2007
Relevant government actors:Ministry of Environment, Provincial Environmental Directorate, Provincial Culture and Tourism Directorate, General Directorate for National Parks, Provincial Directorate of Agriculture, Uludag University, Golyazi Municipality, Mustafakemalpasa Municipality
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:WWF, Society for the Protection of Nature, Tophane Rotary Club, Uludag Beekepeers Association, ULU-KUS Bird Watching Club, Protection and Promotion of the Environment and Cultural Heritage (CEKUL in Turkish acronym), Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TURSAB in Turkish acronym)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stageLATENT (no visible resistance)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Air pollution, Desertification/Drought, Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Health ImpactsPotential: Infectious diseases, Other environmental related diseases
Other Health impactsPoisoning
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Other socio-economic impactsLoss of income, diffiulties in access to water
Project StatusIn operation
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Uluabat Lake Management Plan is not considered as an absolute success with regards to environmental justice. Although the plan has positive effects on the environment, no progress is gained on fishermens situation and imposes no sanctions for the industry that is responsible for the pollution on the lake.
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Ramsar Convention
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

'Evaluation of physical, chemical and microbiological properties of lake Uluabat, Turkey'
[click to view]

Ozesmi, U., Ozesmi, S., 2003, A Participatory Approach to Ecosystem Conservation: Fuzzy Cognitive Maps and Stakeholder Group Analysis in Uluabat Lake, Turkey, Environmental Management, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 0518-0531

Meta information
Contributor:Ceren Soylu
Last update01/03/2015
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