8.1- General Distribution of Land Cover

This indicator is a state indicator. It is very important for land use planning purposes to know the diversity of plantation areas clearly to observe the current and possible improvements in the area and to assess and limit the pressures on land by urbanisation and industrialisation purposes.

Under the European Union’s CORINE (Coordination of Information on the Environment) Land Cover Program, projects were done in years 1990, 2000, 2006 and 2012 in Turkey.

According to the CORINE 2012 data, ratios of artificial areas account for 1.78% of Turkey, whereas agricultural areas account for 43.48%, forest and semi-natural areas for 52.46%, wetlands for 0.53% and water bodies cover 1.74% of the country.

In Turkey between 1990 and 2012, while forests and semi-natural areas decreased by 1,212,900 ha, all other areas have increased, such as artificial surfaces by 424,867 ha, agricultural areas by 423,756 ha, water bodies by 173,305 ha and wetlands by 159,604 ha. Increasing population, urbanisation and industrialization posed threat to natural and agricultural areas.

Looking at the situation in EU-28 countries; forests and other wooded areas occupied more than one third (37.7%) of the total area of the EU-28 in 2015, while more than one fifth of the total area was covered by cropland (22.2%) and by grassland (20.7%). The remaining types of land cover in the EU-28 were much less prevalent, as shrubland occupied 7.1% of the total area, followed by artificial land — which includes built-up areas, roads and railways — which had a 4.2 % share. The lowest shares of EU-28 land use were recorded as bare land (3.3%), water areas (3.0%) and wetland areas (1.7%) [40].


GRAPH 70- LAND USE BY YEARS (1990-2012)

Source: Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, IT Department