The Political Economy of the Conservation of Biodiversity and Biodiversity-Based Trade: The Case of Türki̇ye

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Karagöz Özenç F.

in: Pursuing Sustainable Development Goals: The Performance of Türkiye in the Centennial of the Republic, Billur Engin Balın,Dilara Mumcu Akan,Ferda Karagöz Özenç,Özcan Garan, Editor, Istanbul University, İstanbul, pp.1-788, 2024

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Publisher: Istanbul University
  • City: İstanbul
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-788
  • Editors: Billur Engin Balın,Dilara Mumcu Akan,Ferda Karagöz Özenç,Özcan Garan, Editor
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


This study examines the situation of Türkiye regarding the conservation of biodiversity from a historical standpoint. It critically assesses the progress made by the public authority in terms of biodiversity awareness and the regulations implemented in this regard by reviewing the official reports such as development plans and by evaluating the components of the Environmental Performance Index, developed by Wolf et al. (2022). Given that the decline of biodiversity within a single country has repercussions not only for that country but also for the global ecosystem, international organizations have been addressing this issue since the 1970s. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which serve as the primary framework for this book, emphasize the need to minimize biodiversity loss and promote the sustainable utilization of biodiversity. These objectives are particularly relevant for SDG 15 and, to a lesser extent, for SDG 14 and SDG 12. To provide insights into Türkiye’s progress over time, the study provides a historical depiction of the biodiversity-based global production and trade networks associated with the sustainable use of biodiversity. It figures out that international trade is one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss since colonialism. Additionally, the study conducts a critical analysis of international regulations aimed at promoting its sustainable use, while the regulations of Türkiye align mainly with these international developments. Lastly, by using the UNCTAD and CITES databases on biotrade, the study analyzes the biotrade flows of Türkiye, its sectoral linkages, and the significance of biotrade flows of Türkiye in comparison to the other regions as well as evaluating the national trade regulations. Overall, the study shows that biodiversity-based production and trade contribute significantly to the Turkish economy. Although some progress has been made in the sustainable utilization of biodiversity, Türkiye lags far behind in comparison to its peers. In that sense, Türkiye exhibits a realist/economic nationalist approach to the conservation of biodiversity. It tries to ensure not to undermine its economic development in not just agriculture as the most biodiversity-sensitive sector, but also in others such as tourism, energy, and industry while taking measures to safeguard biodiversity. Besides, there have been relatively few endeavors aimed at reducing the decline in biodiversity, even though the country’s environmental performance indicators fall below the global average.