Climate change and the environment
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CITIZENS FOR THE COMMONS ACROSS BORDERS: BEYOND ISTANBUL ACROSS THE SEA OF MARMARA TO THE BLACK SEA AND EUROPE
The President of Turkey announced the “crazy project” Canal Istanbul as an element of glitter in his election campaign back in 2011. The insistence on imposing this highly controversial, “crazy project” has been resurrected lately, without public consultation or debate, even though polls demonstrate a rising public majority against it. The socio-ecologically and economically catastrophic construction project are planned as a waterway cutting through the Thracian peninsula in Turkey, connecting the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. The impacts of the channel are multi-dimensional and also transnational. Canal Istanbul project will be the beginning of an irreversible environmental disaster. While the Black Sea slowly dries up, the warmth and the salinity of the Marmara Sea and the Mediterranean will change, with devastating consequences for marine and urban life, and, of course, the entire Black Sea Region will suffer, with its great biodiverse habitats of sandy beaches and dunes, wetlands, grasslands and forests. This amounts to no less than an ecological catastrophe of vast scale, at a time when we must, as citizens and governments, summon all our resources to act on and stop climate destruction and the collapse of the integrity of our planet. We, the organisers of this event, are mindful that the prospective damage extends far beyond Istanbul, and that these devastating implications of Canal İstanbul will create adverse effects on the well-being of humans in this region, say that it is ‘Either Canal or our Commons’. This event, therefore, is an invitation to all concerned citizens of Europe to think about what our Commons are, how the Black Sea is one such common and how to care for our commons, in this case, the Black Sea. With this event, we aim to bring home to the citizens of Europe and the Black Sea Region the notion of caring for common values, which, in this case, is the Black Sea. The well-being of the Black Sea, clearly, has to be introduced as a factor into considerations of public benefit. No benefit would legitimize bearing the cost of such a multi-layered, irreversible, irreparable hazard. The event will be online via Zoom. Simultaneous translation will be available between the languages of Turkish to English and vice versa.
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