About 50 Akkuyu NPP project employees took part in an event on the occasion of World Environment Day. On the beach of the Kum Mahallesi district near the town of Taşucu, a residential area for Russian specialists working in the project, a beach cleaning and sea turtles protection event was organized by specialists from the members of the Göksu Delta Sea turtle Monitoring Project with the support of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation of the Republic of Turkey. Due to coronavirus pandemic, the event participants used personal protective equipment - medical masks, gloves and sanitizers.
The event was attended by employees of AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC, joint venture TITAN2 IC İÇTAŞ İNŞAAT ANONİM ŞİRKETİ - the main contractor of the Akkuyu NPP construction, Assystem NCIO - an independent construction control organization, as well as a group of researchers from different Universities. For several hours, the participants collected garbage on the beach, and after sunset they walked around the beach in search of nesting places for sea turtles. Researchers and volunteers provided event participants with information about sea turtle nests. Participants were informed about sea turtles and the factors that threaten their nests, and then the researchers carried out their routine activities on the beach together with the event participants.
“World Environment Day is a great occasion to draw public attention to environmental problems and tell about the ways to solve these problems available to everyone. Cleaning territory from garbage is not only taking care of the place we live, but also an accessible way for everyone to show environmental awareness. Participation in such events is an integral part of the company's environmental policy. We are very pleased to see our employees participating in such events voluntarily and out of duty, and thereby setting the pace of protecting the environment,” said Aleksey Frolov, Managing Director for GR and International Cooperation of AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC.
Sea turtles’ habitat protection event is intended to raise awareness of the problems faced by sea turtles among the local population, tourists and specialists from Russia who come to the region to work at the Akkuyu NPP construction site. The sandy beaches of the Mediterranean coast of Turkey are a nesting place for two species of sea turtles: the loggerhead (loggerhead sea turtle or Caretta caretta) and the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas). The loggerhead is listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of the as a vulnerable species, the green turtle as an endangered species. Both types are protected by the laws of the Republic of Turkey.
World Environment Day was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972. The declaration made by the UN General Assembly on that date encourages the states and organizations to conduct annual events that show their commitment to preserve and improve the environment. Each year the events are held under a new theme. In 2021, it was "Ecosystem Restoration."