Boğaziçi University and the TEMA Foundation Sign Protocol on Kilyos Sarıtepe Campus Reforestation and Nature Park Project (September 7, 2015)

Boğaziçi University’s Kilyos Sarıtepe campus is a candidate to become the first university campus in the world to meet all of its electricity needs from its own wind power plant. Its claim to become a green campus has been enhanced with the signing of the protocol on the Sarıtepe Campus Reforestation and Nature Park Project, which aims to create biodiversity on and around the campus.  By signing the protocol on September 4, 2015, BU and the TEMA Foundation have taken the first steps towards a nature project that will continue until 2025.

President Gülay Barbarosoğlu and Deniz Ataç, TEMA Foundation Executive Board Director, signed the protocol to collaborate towards a sustainable campus.

In addition to President Barbarosoğlu and Ms. Ataç, present at the signing of the protocol were Canan Barut and Associate Professor Barış Karapınar, TEMA Foundation Executive Board members; Prof. Fikret Adaman, Advisor to the President of BU; and Associate Professor Emre Otay, Kilyos Sarıtepe Campus Coordinator.  In the speech she made at the signing ceremony, President Gülay Barbarosoğlu stated that the university was committed to the vision of a sustainable campus, and was doing its best to ingrain this vision in the students.  “This cannot be done just through the courses that encourage an ecological view,” she emphasized. “We have to integrate this vision into all our projects and all aspects of campus life.”  According to President Barbarosoğlu, the Kilyos Sarıtepe Campus project was an invitation to the students to work together towards a green campus.

Associate Professor Barış Karapınar, member of the TEMA Foundation Executive Board, explained that the protocol agreement would be in effect until 2025.  According to Karapınar, the objective of the project is to develop an ecological perspective to campus life.  The plans include planting 60,000 trees of a variety of species suitable to the area’s sensitive ecosystem; building paths to encourage students to explore nature; protecting endemic species to increase biodiversity; and establishing a Forest School where the TEMA Foundation will hold various educational activities.  Karapınar added that as part of the activities at the Forest School, TEMA educators will train children and university students to become ecologically literate individuals. As the first step of the project, a tree planting festival is planned for the fall of 2015.

Kilyos Sarıtepe Campus Coordinator Associate Professor Emre Otay expressed his belief that the project would be instrumental in making Sarıtepe a green campus compatible with the environment and in integrating the students with the green campus. Referring to the importance of student participation in the project, Otay claimed that sustainable campus living could only be possible if students who will live on Sarıtepe campus embrace nature and the projects that protect it.