Dr. Melih Boydak
Dr. Melih Boydak, Dean of the Faculty of Forestry, Istanbul University, has devoted the last 30 years of his life to the protection of the environment. He has explored numerous forests in Turkey and discovered various unidentified species of flora. He identified the rare Phoenix "sp" forest which was in danger of disappearing due to development. He reported the matter to the District's Governor, and as a result the development was stopped. Through the Arboretum Project, which he coordinates, he succeeded in protecting the luqidambar orientalis and other species of flora. He has brought together 26 non-governmental organizations in Istanbul whose collective aim is to protect forests, nature and the country's culture. He was co-chair of the XI International Forestry Congress, and he is also the founder of the International Foresters Association. He led the legal struggle to prevent the improper use of forest areas. He succeeded, in collaboration with other foresters, in applying an inexpensive afforestation method where trees are planted in calcareous areas. After the initial success in the pilot 1,000 hectares, the same process was replicated in a similar land area of 10,000 hectares, and today this land is once again covered with cedar trees. He has undertaken research to develop ways of creating forests and combatting desertification in the arid parts of the Central Anatolian Region.