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2010 One World Award Finalist

 

PRESERVING DIVERSITY, HEALING MOTHER EARTH,

BUILDING SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES

 

A nightingale with a beautiful voice
sang by a stream: ''You can make a flower
of jewels and gold, even add perfume,
but it won't have a flower's true bloom.''
Rumi


MISSION

ANATOLIA FOUNDATION was founded in 2006 for the principle goal of preserving and supporting the rich cultural traditions and biological diversity of the Anatolian region of Turkey. The Foundation works with rural communities to protect the endangered environment and to promote traditional, artisan skills with sustainable village projects. The Foundation creates participatory pilot projects with environmentally sound end products. Among other goals, these alternative income sources are designed to counter-balance the effects of heavy out-migration to distant cities. The resulting organic and fair trade products help to promote sustainable living in the villages.

WHERE IS ANATOLIA?

Anatolia is a geographical region encompassing the whole of Asia Minor. It forms the Asian terrain of Turkey, bridging Asia with Europe.


Anatolian Peninsula of Turkey
Map of Important Plant Areas © Doğa Association


WHY IS ANATOLIA IMPORTANT?

The Anatolian Peninsula of Turkey has been the heartland of many great civilizations for millennia. A motherland of fertility, the image of the Earth Goddess arose here over 9,000 years ago. A vast region of seacoasts, mountains, river valleys, and high plateaus, it sustains a biological and cultural diversity rarely found in other regions of the planet.

Kybele, Fertility Goddess 6,000 B.C.
Museum of Anatlian Civilizations, Ankara, Turkey

In Turkey, there are more than 10,700 flowering species and ferns, of which 3,500 are native. Tulips, irises and many other popular garden plants originated here. Wheat, barley, chickpeas, almonds and many other important food crops were first domesticated from the wild in Anatolia’s fertile soil.  Two of the most important West Palearctic bird migration routes pass through it. Three of the world's thirty-four biodiversity hotspots, the Mediterranean, Irano-Anatolian and Caucasus regions cover nearly all of Turkey, the only country in the world to have this distinction. Only five countries (China, Kenya, South Africa, USA, Turkey) contain more than two hotspots, and Turkey alone has the majority of its landmass covered by three. In these days of accelerating climate change, Anatolia remains a critically important source of genetic diversity for the long-term survival of our planet. However, though this region harbors some of the most important ecosystems in the world, they also some of the most endangered.


ANATOLIA FOUNDATION GOALS

We envision the implementation of participatory small-scale sustainable village development models, which could then be expanded and replicated in other villages and regions. Anatolia Foundation helps empower village living and village economics respectful of traditional skills and knowledge, and in harmony with the natural environment. Projects emphasize education and capacity building which is an investment in the continuing wealth, health and happiness of every community, making it a creative partner in overcoming the great challenges confronting the world today. Our projects aim to build bridges between traditional wisdom and contemporary science, between conservation and marketing, and between people and the unique environment that surrounds them.

We believe that an integrated, holistic approach empowering all aspects of life can bring new understanding, new skills, new alternatives and a renewed sense of surroundings, especially to village youth who otherwise opt to seek their futures in distant cities. Our contribution can be seen as a window in nature’s household opening to the world. We believe that with wider horizons and new capabilities, new knowledge can be transformed into new opportunities and ensure sustainability.

ANATOLIA FOUNDATION INC. WAS FOUNDED IN 2006 FOR THE PROTECTION OF BIO-DIVERSITY IN ANATOLIA, WITH SUSTAINABLE VILLAGE PROJECTS. IT HELPS EMPOWER VILLAGE LIFE AND ECONOMICS, RESPECTFUL OF TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS, AND IN HARMONY WITH THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT.


MAIN AREAS OF ACTIVITY

  • Re-introduction, with organic farming methods, of heirloom food crops in danger of extinction and resistant to unpredictable climatic conditions.
  • Preparation of organic food and plant based health care products.
  • Revival of traditional handicrafts and their transformation into more marketable products.
  • Restoration of the natural habitat with scientific and educational programs.
  • Data collection of ethnobotanical knowledge.
  • Organization of village based ecotourism.
  • Creation of village NGOs to involve women and youth in decision making.

 


ANATOLIA FOUNDATION  IS A NON-PROFIT 501(c)3 ORGANIZATION. ALL CONTRIBUTIONS ARE WELCOME AND TAX-DEDUCTIBLE


''Your Generosity is Key to the Success of our Projects''