Please zoom in or out and select the base layer according to your preference to make the map ready for printing, then press the Print button above.

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.

Stakeholders of Uluabat Lake carry out agriculture, animal husbandry, fishing, hunting as well as industrial activities and these activities are closely connected with the lake.

In 2002, the Ministry of Environment and WWF Turkey prepared a management plan aiming at participation of all local stakeholders and this plan was started to be implemented in 2003. The activities cited in the plan were reducing pollution in the lake, securing sustainable fisheries, providing the wise use of natural resources and enriching the wildlife in the lake. The evaluation of first five-year plan in 2007 showed that none of the targets were reached yet. Management plan was revised in 2007 and is still in operation.

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

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

'Evaluation of physical, chemical and microbiological properties of lake Uluabat, Turkey'

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