Istanbul loses its forests and agricultural lands, report says

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Istanbul has lost one-fourth of its agricultural lands and one-fifth of its forest areas in the last 25 years, according to the Urban Analysis Report prepared by Istanbul Municipality.

The forest areas in Istanbul decreased from 285,000 hectares in 1990 to 238,000 hectares in 2020, according to the report, which determines that the urban areas of the metropolis have been growing towards the north since the 1980s and rural areas have been suppressed.

Arable land per capita in Istanbul also fell by about 35 percent between 2004 and 2019, according to the report.

Nearly 100 square kilometers of forest area and nine square kilometers of agricultural lands were lost due to the construction of the Istanbul Airport, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge and Northern Mar-mara Motorways, stated the report.

The active green area per person in Istanbul in 2019 was 2.67 square meters and 40 percent of the city’s coasts were inaccessible, according to the report.

Some 70 percent of the population in the city, comprising of 16 million people, live in the earth-quake zone in which more than 100,000 of buildings are expected to take medium and heavy damage, resulting from a possible 7.5 magnitude earthquake.

Turkey is among the world’s most seismically active countries as it is situated on several active fault lines, and dozens of minor earthquakes and aftershocks occur daily.

Prominent experts warn for an immediate need to take precautions against an expected big Marmara earthquake.

Hurriyet Daily News

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