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  • Women and the Environment: towards Sustainable Development in North Cyprus, 2008-2010​​

    The project called “Women and the Environment: Towards Sustainable Development in northern Cyprus” has born out of the necessity to work towards the solution of main problems encountered in northern Cyprus as regards gender inequality, economic imbalance, and deterioration of environment. The close correlation among sustainable development, preservation of environment and natural resources, and the reduction of socio-economic inequality has long been acknowledged; and yet, the centrality and importance of gender equality in this equation has constantly been disregarded and/or undermined. The proposed project intends to provide a common solution to these seemingly different but closely interrelated problems mentioned above. With this intention, the project intends to strengthen women’s status in economic and social spheres by materializing the income generating potential of environment and thus creating income generating activities that are sensitive to environment and natural resources. In the same way, the project suggests that the efforts to protect the environment will lead to the empowerment of women by providing them with the chance of gaining their economic independence and making them visible. In relation to this initial intention, the project aims at teaching women the ways to manage the natural resources to achieve their economic independence as well as to contribute to the economic growth by approaching the environment as an asset. Thus, the project not only targets at empowering women but also enabling environmental protection and preservation through natural resource management with the  adoption of  a new developmental philosophy that will not inflict any more non-repairable damages to the social, economic and environmental development of northern Cyprus, which will be beneficial in achieving sustainable economic development in the country. In summary, the proposed project aims at the achievement of sustainable development in northern Cyprus, which entails the production/creation of income generating activities to provide economic independence to women, protect the environment and natural resources, and contribute to the country’s economic development.

    Owing to its wide scope, the proposed project is planned to take place in 3 phases:

    Phase 1: Exploring and mapping potential income generating environmental assets

    Phase 2:  Training women to use environment and natural resources in income generating activities

    Phase 3:   Establishing women’s cooperative

    The first stage of the project has been submitted to Ministry of Education for funding and is waiting for approval. As that funding will be used only for the 1st phase of the project, we would like to be considered for Chrest Foundation grant application for the 2nd and 3rd phases of the project, if deemed acceptable.

    Objectives and Expected Results of the Proposed Action

    ·         Preserving environment:

    o Contributing to the environmental campaigns,

    o Raising environmental awareness,

    o Decreasing/stopping the deterioration of the environment.

    ·         Empowering women:

    o Making women visible in public sphere

    o Increasing women’s participation in economic activities

    o Increasing number of women in local decision making mechanisms


    Justification and Relevance of the Proposal & Target Groups

    Even though the existence of similar research in other countries, the fact that such project has never been taken up in North Cyprus, places the project under a different light. In addition, convergence of 3 important aspects namely gender equality, sustainable development and environmental awareness makes this project one of its kind.

    For this project, the target area is chosen to be Karpaz peninsula and target group is chosen to be mainly people living in Karpaz Peninsula, and specifically women in Karpaz villages.

    The reasons for this choice can be summarized as follows:
    • Karpaz is considered to be the least developed area in northern Cyprus in terms of socio-economic development. In fact, despite its priceless environmental assets the people of Karpaz are those who benefit less from economic, social and cultural development of North Cyprus.
    • Women of the area do not hold high literacy rates and are absent in societal and economic life as well as decision-making mechanisms;
    • Even though the area is a national park, it is under the threat of uncontrolled and unplanned construction and tourism activities that cause the contamination and deterioration of environment upon which natural and human life depends; 
    • Karpaz is the least spoilt and crowded area with vast lands of vegetation suitable for farming activities of the whole Cyprus.

    Description of Proposed Activities and Intended Outcomes

    1.    Exploring and mapping potential income generating environmental assets (Fauna and flora):
    • increase people attachment to the environment
    • strengthen standpoint of environmentalist movements
    • able policy formulations and planning
    • raising environmental awareness
    2.    Training women to use environment and natural resources in income generating activities:
    • empowering women by changing the balance of power relations affecting the use of the natural resources and women’s inclusion in obtaining economic independence
    3.    Establishing women’s cooperative:
    • empowering women
    • securing the sustainability of the project
    • contributing to the preservation of environment and natural resources
    Phase 2 & 3: Based on the results of the analysis carried out in Phase 1, an appropriate training program for women of Karpaz villages is planned to be devised. This training program to be designed is thought to entail training modules specifically designed to answer the needs of the area and its inhabitants.

    Training Modules[1] are thought to include:

    Module 1: Environmental awareness raising

    Module 2: Gender issues in N. Cyprus

    Module 3: Concept of cooperative and entrepreneurship

    Module 4: Case studies worldwide

    Module 5: Business plan

    Module 6: Pricing

    Module 7: Marketing

    [1] Preparation of Training Program and its modules are to be developed following the completion of Phase 1 of the project. The information provided here is to give preliminary idea.


    Project Report

    There is no English translation of the project report.

     KARPAZ FINAL RAPORU 7 6 2010.pdf