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Flourishing Generations-II
By info@np2e.org

Flourishing Generations-II

Sweetgum’s  Symphony Concert

NP2E’s “Flourishing Generations” project has made significant strides in the conservation and recovery of nature, strengthening the collaboration between the Netherlands and Türkiye. At the heart of these efforts are the Sweetgum trees, which have played a central role in bringing the voice of nature to the people during the ‘Sweetgum’s Symphony’ concert in May.

The “Flourishing Generations” project has been developed by NP2E to promote the role of women and youth in protecting natural resources, the environment, and all living beings. Following the major wild fires in Marmaris, Murat Azgun, the Honorary Consul of the Netherlands initiated the idea of creating a Netherland-Turkiye Friendship Forest. With Flourishing Generations we contributed to  planting the first 10,000 trees which marked a significant milestone in the project. This project was launched with the support of the Dutch Embassy and the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, among others. The main goal was to raise environmental awareness among young people and contribute to the reforestation of Marmaris.

Activities and Nature Education in Marmaris National Park

In collaboration with officials from Marmaris National Park, nature education sessions were organized in the Sweetgum  forest. Sweetgum trees are a unique species known for their endemic and therapeutic properties, found only in Marmaris. In this forest, we installed two Tree Rhythm sensors  to record the emotions of the trees. Continuing with the “Flourishing Generations-II” project, the first event this year featured a concert using data collected from these sensors.

About the “Sweetgum’s Symphony” Concert

Dutch musician Bert Barten and his team have the ability to create music from the vibrations of trees. We asked them to transfer the data collected from the Tree Rhythm sensors installed in 2022, into musical notes. In collaboration with the Marmaris Maksad Chamber Orchestra and under the coordination of maestro Associate Professor Dr. Samir Gülahmedov, the “Sweetgum’s Symphony” concert was held on May 31st in the Marmaris National Park in the Sweetgum Forest. Since Turkish music has a richer potential compared to Western music in expressing vibrations from nature, this concert had a profound impact.

Project Objectives and Achievements

Often, humans consider themselves rulers of nature and the creatures within it. Our aim was to show people that they are a part of nature and to bring the voice of nature to them. This perspective is somewhat more feminine. While developing the concert idea, we focused on two main points:

First, we wanted to echo the voice of Mother Nature. Nature is symbolically referred to as ‘Mother Nature’ in many cultures. Therefore, we thought it would be more meaningful for the data from the trees to be voiced by women. We believe that due to their natural characteristics, women can better express the emotions of the trees.

Second, the music was predominantly played with traditional Turkish instruments. Since the Sweetgum tree is a species that only grows in Marmaris, we thought that performing the concert with instruments like the ney, oud, qanun, and clarinet would be like speaking the trees’ ‘native language.’

During the concert, we observed an increase in the frequencies of the trees, indicating that they responded positively. This shows that we achieved our goal.

Plans for “Flourishing Generations-II” Project in 2024

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the friendship between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Republic of Turkey, this year’s collaboration includes various partners and stakeholders contributing their expertise in culture, arts/music, and science. Such significant commemorations often resonate with numerous artistic and cultural initiatives. However, the focus of this special project is nature.

This year, as in 2022, the Dutch Embassy will plant another 10,000 trees in the Netherlands-Turkey Friendship Forest. In November (on Turkey’s National Afforestation Day, November 11th), young people from the Netherlands will return to Marmaris. Together with students from Wageningen University and Mugla University’s Faculty of Forestry, nature education sessions will be conducted to measure the growth of the trees planted since 2022 and to identify the biodiversity in the forest. Scientific research will be incorporated into our work with Marmaris National Park. We will examine how trees respond to meteorological changes.

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  • May 31, 2024

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