SUSTAINABLE VILLAGE PROJECTS IN THE
KARS REGION OF EASTERN ANATOLIA
The main activities of Anatolia Foundation are presently based in the Caucasian region of Turkey, known as Doğu Anadolu (Eastern Anatolia). In the region surrounding the city of Kars, in the Northeastern corner of Anatolia, the Irano-Anatolian and Caucasian biodiversity hotspots meet. Additionally, this region contains 11 Important Plant Areas, 13 Important Bird Areas, and 22 Key Biodiversity Areas. The flora and fauna of the region are seriously endangered due to many factors, including haphazard intensive animal grazing, the use of agricultural pesticides, and the loss of centuries old traditions, as the population shifts from rural villages to big cities.
Since 2006, Anatolia Foundation has been initiating participatory sustainable village projects conducive to the safeguarding and promotion of the cultural and environmental diversity of the region. The projects were funded by The Christensen Fund between 2006-2010. Additional funding was received from UNDP Small Grants Programme (GEF) in 2007.
The Kars Projects designed and implemented by Beti Minkin as the Project Director of the Foundation, envision the creation of an ecologically sound holistic village model promoting organic food production and the revival of the traditional wise ways. They interlock agro-biodiversity, conservation and community building programs, serving as a long-term, healthy and viable alternative rural development model based on ecologic, economic, and social sustainability.The villages are located in environmentally sensitive regions, furthering the socio-economical impact of the projects.