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Cablegate: Turkey: Environmental Highlights, Jan. - Feb.

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 001304

SIPDIS


STATE FOR EUR/PGI, EUR/SE, EUR/ACE, OES/PCI, OES/IHA
PLEASE PASS EPA (BFREEMAN, APHILLIPS, HHUYNH) and NSF
POSTS FOR ESTOFF, HUB


E.O.12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV TBIO KPAO TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY: ENVIRONMENTAL HIGHLIGHTS, JAN. - FEB.


REF: 02 ANKARA 8870


(U) This is one of a series of cables providing updates on
environmental issues in Turkey. Below are topics covered in
this cable:


1. Proposed environmental law withdrawn
2. WSSD Follow-up
3. Euros 126 million for accession preparation
4. Law on membership goes into effect
5. REC plans for Turkey move forward
6. Municipal recycling postponed
7. Possible source of Hepatitis B and C in Ankara
--------------------------------------------- --


1. MINISTER PROPOSES THEN WITHDRAWS DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL LAW.
New Environment Minister Imdat Sutulogul forwarded proposed
environmental legislation to Parliament, and then withdrew
it about a month later. The proposed law was designed to
strengthen the traditionally weak Ministry by assigning it
new authorities and financing, and resolving conflicting
responsibilities with other agencies. It appeared to have
included a 10 percent fee for plastic bottles that would
have troubled soft-drink bottlers, such as Coca-Cola and and
Pepsi-Cola. The legislation would have been the first major
revision in environmental law since 1997. Post will follow
developments and report.


2. WSSD FOLLOW-UP. A consultant to the Ministry of
Environment (MOE) is pouring through WSSD documents to
compare the commitments that Turkey made at WSSD with
Turkey's laws, EU directives, State Planning Office (SPO)
policies, MOE programs and other national regulations.
Turkey will continue to seek WSSD partnerships between now
and the completion of the lengthy tome.


3. EURO 126 MILLION FOR ACCESSION PREPARATION. The European
Commission has approved Euro 126-million for a pre-accession
financial assistance program to assist Turkey in preparing
for EU membership. One of the five key areas to be studied
will address strengthening public administration to improve
phytosanitary and veterinary controls, maritime safety, and
environmental inspection.


4. LAW ON MEMBERSHIP GOES INTO EFFECT. The law addressing
Turkey's joining the European Environment Agency and
participating in the European Environment Information and
Observation Network entered into force on January 28. As a
part of its membership obligation, Turkey will pay dues of
Euro 2,033,000 (USD 2.2 million) the first year, of which
MEDA (European-Mediterranean Partnership) will pay Euro
1,524,750 (USD 1.65 million). The fee increases and MEDA
contribution decreases the second year. By the third year,
Turkey will bear the full membership fee -- Euro 3,127,000
(USD 3.3 million).


5. REC TURKEY MOVES FORWARD. Representatives from REC
Budapest confirm that plans for REC Turkey are proceeding on
schedule. REC Budapest's Deputy Executive Director
reiterated that ratification of the REC Turkey Charter by
the Turkish Parliament is expected within two months. REC
Budapest anticipates that the required bilateral agreement
will be signed and ratified by June so the REC could begin
operation that month with allotted EU funding. There is
still no agreement on legal status (association, foundation,
special designation) for the REC. A donors meeting would be
held after opening the office.


6. MUNICIPAL RECYCLING POSTPONED. The Ministry of
Environment (MOE) is still seeking to engage the Ankara
Metropolitan Municipality in its proposed national recycling
program. Although the draft agreement between MOE and the
municipality was completed in August, the municipality has
yet to sign. On a related note, Ankara recently began a USD
270 million solid waste project in cooperation with a Swiss
company.


7. POSSIBLE SOURCE OF HEPATITIS B AND C IN ANKARA. A press
release from the Ankara Governate advised that local
governing bodies have prohibited the use of waters from the
Ankara Stream for irrigation purposes due to recent
outbreaks of Hepatitis B and C among some who use those
waters.


PEARSON

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