Last year, Türkiye submitted a proposal to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly to combat climate change and establish sustainable development plans. Following the UN General Assembly’s decision, March 30th is now celebrated as International Zero Waste Day worldwide. The UN General Assembly declared International Zero Waste Day, with Türkiye as the main presenter and 105 countries as co-presenters.
Through its Zero Waste Project, Türkiye stands out as an exemplar in all ecological and nature protection projects that closely concern the world. The Project aims to prevent waste, utilise resources more efficiently, prevent or minimise waste formation by reviewing its causes, and collect and recover waste separately at the source.
Turkish cuisine's centuries-old sustainability principles inspire the world
The zero-waste philosophy seeks to eliminate waste from all aspects of life and requires waste-free kitchen practices. The waste-free kitchen – a requirement in today’s environment – has been an integral aspect of Turkish cooking for generations.
Turkish cuisine is founded on no food waste, keeping the philosophy of waste-free and sustainable culinary practices. It offers solutions for utilising all elements of plant and animal materials. Dishes created with natural and organic materials and vegan and vegetarian cuisine have long been a mainstay on Turkish tables. Almost every dish in Turkish cuisine's diverse range uses ingredients without wasting them. For example, numerous dishes are made from stale bread. Leftover pilav becomes either a soup or a rice pie. To make dolmas, the inside of zucchini or eggplant is removed but never thrown away, they transform it into another flavour. Traditional cuisines served to families at huge gatherings have been the foundation of a sustainable and harmonious existence in these lands for years.
Sustainable Tourism in Türkiye
Türkiye also set an example for the world by signing a cooperation agreement with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), the world’s top environmental and sustainability platform, to form a National Sustainable Tourism Program.
Aiming to restructure the tourism industry in the next three years within the scope of the Agreement, Türkiye is the first country in the world to “roll up its sleeves” and develop a national program in sustainable tourism with the government. Launched last year, the Program aims to maximise social and economic benefits for local people, enhance cultural heritage, and protect biodiversity, ecosystems and natural beauty while reducing pollution and conserving resources. Within the scope of the Sustainable Tourism Program, initially created for accommodation facilities, a gradual transition is expected to be completed by 2030. Thanks to effective sustainability planning, accommodation facilities are encouraged to improve their sustainability efforts consistently. In this context, and via the Ministry of Culture and Tourism circular on November 15, 2022, all accommodation facilities in Türkiye must obtain the 1st Stage Sustainable Tourism Verification by the end of 2023.