Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia
In a spectacular landscape, entirely sculpted by erosion, the Göreme valley and its surroundings contain rock-hewn sanctuaries that provide unique evidence of Byzantine art in the post-Iconoclastic period. Dwellings, troglodyte villages and underground towns – the remains of a traditional human habitat dating back to the 4th century – can also be seen there. © UNESCO
2020 Conservation Outlook
However, implementation of the management plan is hindered by the lack of management unit inside the park and inadequate staffing for monitoring and controlling. There is a need for more research to define tourism carrying capacity in order to improve visitor planning and tourism management. Overall, previously identified threats and management deficiencies identified persist in this 2020 assessment and in areas have degraded. The value of the site's natural beauty (criterion vii) appears to be intact, but without improvement in the management, staffing, monitoring, and stakeholder interaction this may deteriorate in the future along with the cultural values.
Current state and trend of VALUES
Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT
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Description of values
Superlative natural features and spectacular landscape
The tourism cannot be controlled all over the park due to inadequate number of staff. There is one manager in Nevşehir and one ranger at the park for daily monitoring of the whole park who have many other responsibilities (IUCN Consultation, 2017).
The question of uncontrolled tourism was addressed in Demircivi (2017) after completion of the 2017 Outlook Assessment. The report concurred with this justification for the assessment.
Transportation (road network) was defined as a high threat in RAPPAM 2009 assessment (Stanciu et al 2009).
There is illegal housing inside the National Park especially at residential areas.
At tourism destinations, visual integrity of the site has been impacted by infrastructure(IUCN Consultation, 2017)
The question of adverse impacts of construction of infrastructure to support mass tourism to the natural values was addressed in Demircivi (2017) after completion of the 2017 Outlook Assessment. The report concurred with this justification for the assessment,
In recent years, due to construction of irrigation dams and ponds in the region, the humidity has been increasing which accelerates the natural deterioration (IUCN Consultation, 2017).
In general erosion is a critical element of the natural values, and is the cause of the landforms. However, accelerated erosion is a threat.
No significant grazing has been reported in recent years (IUCN Consultation, 2017).
ones on the Göreme-Ortahisar road). In order to resolve negative impacts resulting from the traffic, the passes on those roads may be limited to only tour buses or closed to all motor vehicles depending on the alternative roads.
The environmental plan report (MOFW 2015) states that there is cooperation of Municipalities under the name of Cappadocia Union in order to address the issue of constructions. However, Demirçivi (2017) presents evidence that a unifield Managment Plan for the area is needed to understand, monitor, and respond to threats in a consistent manner. Currently the mulitple jurisdictions have different plans, and the park staff is insufficient to convey important restrictions to stakeholders and residents.
According to RAPPAM 2009 and management effectiveness report in 2015, management effectiveness of Göreme National Park is lower than average. There is no park management unit inside the park. According to RAPPAM 2009, the inventory, visitor management, staff management (training) of the area, number of staff and collaboration with locals are not adequate. As such, a unified Managment Plan for the area is needed to understand, monitor, and respond to threats in a consistent manner (Demirçivi, 2017).
The management plan of the National Park was prepared in 1971 however there are inadequacies in implementation of the plan (MoFW 2015). The management plan was revised in 2013 (www.milliparklar.gov.t).
There are regional and environmental plans which include Göreme National Park. There is a 1/100,000 scale environmental plan prepared by Ministry of Environment and Urbanization which was approved in 2006 and renewed in 2013. The plan shows land use and environmental decisions outside the park. However, a unified Management Plan for the area is needed to understand, monitor, and respond to threats in a consistent manner (Dimicivi, 2017). Currently the multiple jurisdictions have different plans, and the park staff is insufficient to convey important restrictions to stakeholders and residents.
However, currently there is very low cooperation with local people (MOFW 2015, Güngör 2016).
Site managers, when it is required, meet with local people in order to receive their opinions about planned activities under management plan.
(UNESCO, Periodic Report, Cycle 01)
Rappam 2009 report stated that there was increased funding from the central government. Management Effectiveness Report in 2015 also stated that there is adequate annual funding from the central government (MOFW 2015). However, feasibility research and planning is required for an effective management of the budget.
(UNESCO, Periodic Report, Cycle 01)
Since 2014, there is a declining trend in visitor numbers. According to DOSİMM statistics the visitor numbers are; 1,080,88 in 2014; 975,712 in 2015 and 509,131 in 2016. According to management effectiveness report in 2015, management of tourism and visitors including providing proper infrastructure is not effective. There is need of arranging facilities and control of tourism movement in the park.
The heavy pressure of mass tourism is also a threat. (IUCN/WCMC Data Sheets, May 2011)
|№||Organization||Brief description of Active Projects||Website|
|1||Governorship (of Nevsehir)||Research studies are being carried out at the research centre in the governorship. The integration of the various conservation and development plans of eleven towns in the region may provide a solution within the management plan to be prepared in the near future in accordance with the revised conservation legislation. (UNESCO, Periodic Report, Cycle 01)||
|2||UNESCO/UNDP/ICCROM||A number of Cappadocia’s staff have received training at ICCROM in Rome. Studies have also been made locally on earth-sheltered housing, traditional water management and modern tourism. (IUCN/WCMC Data Sheets Jan 1988, updated 8-1995, 10-2007, May 2011)||
|3||A number of Cappadocia’s staff have received training at ICCROM in Rome. Studies have also been made locally on earth-sheltered housing, traditional water management and modern tourism. (IUCN/WCMC Data Sheets Jan 1988, updated 8-1995, 10-2007, May 2011)||Management of national park and visitors.||
|4||UNESCO||Safeguarding the Churches of Cappadocia, Turkey: Conservation of Rock Structures and Wall Paintings Project funded by Japan’s Funds-in-Trust for the Preservation of World Cultural Heritage|
|5||Ministry of Forest and Water Affairs, Nevşehir Province Directorate||Architectural and landscape project for designing viewing platform, pedestrian roads.|
|6||Ministry of Culture and Tourism||Pazarbağları archaeological site landscape project.|
|7||Ministry of Forest and Water Affairs, Nevşehir Province Directorate||Renovation of tourism infrastructure.|
Culcuoglu, G., Erkan, Y. and Karakul, O. UNESCO World Heritage Turkey, UNESCO Turkey National Commission, 2013
Demirçivi B. M. (2017). Göreme Millî Parkı ve Kapadokya Kayalık ölgeleri’ne İlişkin UNESCO Raporu Değerlendirmeleri ve Öneriler, Turizm Akademik Dergisi, 4 (2), 91-106. (In Turkish with English abstract and summary of key findings).
Güngör, Ş. 2016. The Effect of Protection Satutes on Protection-Use Balance: The Case of Zelve Open Air Museum (Nevşehir/Avanos). Gaziantep University Journal of Social Sciences, 15 (1): 205-223.
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Kentyapı Planlama. 2006. Kırşehir, Nevşehir, Niğde, Aksaray 1/100,000 scale environmental plan decisions, Ministry of Environment and Urbanism, Ankara.
MoFW. 2015. Site Management and Management Effectiveness in Göreme National Park. Ministry of Forest and Water Affairs Department of National Parks Division of Site Management, Ankara.
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Somuncu, M., Yişit, T. 2009. The evaluation of tourism from sustainability perspective in the world heritage of Göreme National Park and Rock Sites of Cappadocia. Vth National Geography Symposium Proceedings: 387-402, 16- 17 October 2008, Ankara.
Stanciu, E., Avcıoğlu, B., Lise, Y. 2009. Rapid Assessment and Prioritization of Protected Areas Management in Turkey: 2009 Assessment and 2005-2009 Comparison. WWF-Turkey, İstanbul, Turkey (in Turkish)
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