Ayça ÇELİKBİLEK, a research assistant at the Department of City and Regional Planning, working at IMU Sustainability Office, was deemed worthy of the first prize at the “Turkey Awareness Awards” given by JCI to honor young people between the ages of 19-40, who produce projects and carry out voluntary work in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, for their positive contributions to society and to promote their work.
In the category-based evaluations, each SDG was handled as a separate category, and the works of the candidates were evaluated by the votes of the expert jury members for each category.In addition to her academic studies in areas such as ecological urban planning, river basin planning, environmental impact assessment, ÇELİKBİLEK was also evaluated for her many volunteer activities such as the contributions of public institutions to the sustainability studies, workshops focusing on the protection of biodiversity in terrestrial life such as BioBlitz workshops, birdseed production workshops, seed workshops, ecological literacy, permaculture and compost trainings. For all of such contributions, ÇELİKBİLEK was awarded the first prize in the SDG-15 “Life on Land” category. ÇELİKBİLEK received her award at the gala night held by JCI and said in her speech that it is impossible to protect something that we do not know, emphasizing that the BioBlitz activities they have carried out are very important for terrestrial life, especially because of the contribution they provide to the people of the metropolis who have lost their connection with nature due to urbanization. She stated that biodiversity inventories are of great importance in the protection of the ecological system and that the workshops she conducts serve to eliminate the deficiencies experienced in this regard in Turkey. She said that she will continue to organize BioBlitz events in a way that there will be at least one each season and announced that the workshops are also adapted to children and she is preparing two new guidebooks to educate children on ecosystem and biodiversity. She also announced that she will organize trainings and workshops for many different SDGs in the new year.
We congratulate our teammate and wish her and our Sustainability Office continued success.