Doğa Derneği, the Nature Society, is composed of people who respect the integrity and diversity of life, and who know the impact of their existence on other forms of life. The horizon of the society, established in 2002, is to achieve a world where nature conservation is no longer needed.
The Nature Society embraces the fact that nature as a whole; together with all the other creatures, like human-beings have the right to live and survive as well. The society is the first NGO in Turkey which recognizes “The Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth”.
Since its establishment, the Nature Society has been working on comprehending the unique diversity of life and to protect it with its thousands of members and volunteers. Anyone who is defending the rights of nature, regardless of language, religion, ethnicity and political view, can become a member or volunteer. For this reason, the foundation of the society is composed of a wide-range of network of people like students, villagers, researchers, artists, travelers, bird observers and activists. The main value in bringing these people together is that the human-being is also part of nature; in other words “Nature is me. Nature is you. Nature is us”.
The Nature Society is leading many activities to help key biodiversity areas in Turkey and in the world, to “live”. The main areas where the society work on are; the Lake Burdur, Hasankeyf, Istanbul, the Gediz Delta, the Urfa Steppes, Central Anatolia and East Black Sea Mountains, Seferihisar, Antakya and Beypazari. The Nature Society, with its “Goal: Zero Vanishment” campaign, prevented many creatures from perishing in those areas. Bald ibis, gazelle, flamingos, striped hyena, brown bear and vultures are a few that the society granted life.
The Nature Society also operates outside Turkey. The method of “sacred natural sites” was first implemented by the Nature Society in the world and it was published in 2004 together with an international crew. In 2006, the book “Sacred Natural Sites of Turkey” was published. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has improved this technique and accepted it as an international guideline for the determination of the protected areas.
The Nature Society prepared the strategy of protecting the entire Mediterranean basin in 2010. It actively supported the Amazon indigenous tribes and the neighboring countries in their fight for nature. During the international campaign organized for Hasankeyf to be declared as UNESCO world heritage, many famous artists like Yasar Kemal, Tarkan, Sezen Aksu, Orhan Pamuk got together. As a result of the campaign, the governments of Germany, Austria and Switzerland retrieved their support of Ilisu Dam which flooded Hasankeyf.
The Nature Society, wherever it goes, has accepted the people living there and their culture of nature as a basic value. For this reason, during the passing years it has learned so much from the ancient societies all over the world. The Nature Society initiated Seferihisar School of Nature to be able to transfer this unique experience and valuable information to other generations.
According to the Nature Society, the main reason for the devastation of nature is the deterioration of the good relations between humans. The Society, together with the Seferihisar School of Nature, is working on understanding, telling and perpetuating these relations.