In 2022, some camps are organising camp experiences for you to participate in. We are hopeful that they will be able to go ahead. Camps will follow the local conditions closely, and may have to cancel activities if the local COVID-19 situation forces them to do so. If you have already signed up for a camp-activity you will be informed when this happens. We will update the website also, when such decisions are taken. Please check your own local authority travel advisory to see if you can travel to or return from the camp after the activity. At all times, when at camps, please observe it’s COVID-19 policy (such as wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands, etc). 

Camp Functional Forests Zeytinalani (FFZA)
Köyceğiz, Muğla, Turkey

The team at Camp Functional Forests  Zeytinalani (FFZA) are an interdisciplinary team with rural and urban backgrounds combining traditional and scientific knowledge through decades of design, implementation and entrepreneurial experience to design, implement, manage, monitor and disseminate Functional Forests. 

Functional Forests (FF) are a holistic approach to regenerative small-to-large-scale poly-cultural production based on a culmination of Indigenous- and Syntropic Farming Methods. Besides food, medicine, fodder, fuel, fibre, building materials etc. FF provide many other social, economic, ecological and motivational benefits for regeneration.  

Achievements to date

FFZA has successfully planted approximately 6000 saplings on contour and alongside the fence line between 2019-2020 with 5-10 campers in each activity, and  2500 meters of mulch has already been applied. As a result, even through the extended two month dry period, irrigation for the saplings was only necessary, on average, once a month with remote vehicles between May and late October, using only 250 tons of water. They achieved their goal of keeping 85% of the saplings alive under arid conditions with minimum intervention and use of resources.   

What to expect at FFZA

Expect a full immersion experience in ecological and emotional restoration in a Mediterranean Climate. A 4 ha. degraded agricultural land surrounded by mountain ranges with a spectacular view of a unique watershed. Lake Köyceğiz, surrounded by endemic liquidambar trees, is fed by crystal clear Yuvarlakçay and Nam Nam Rivers. Both of these rivers flow into the Mediterranean Sea by surpassing Dalyan canal and finally reaching the world renowned  İztuzu Beach. 

Local fauna includes the endemic Blue Crab, Caretta Carretta, Nile turtle, the Silver Eel, Capricorn, Wild boar, Badgers, Skunks, Minks, Hawks and more.

Who is needed

Camp FFZA believes that practicing resilience building  within ourselves, in our relationships, our community, nature and economy is our way of learning, doing and being. Anyone whose heart is beating to serve our planet by restoring ecological and emotional landscapes in partnership with locals is welcome to join in their work. Note that their daily work requires physical endurance such as lifting, kneeling, digging, carrying and so on. Also beware of harsh environmental conditions, particularly during the dry season between the months of May and November.

The camp welcomes in particular: 

  • Biologists, ornithologists, entomologists, and botanists to help document and develop parameters for longitudinal studies on the existing and evolving fauna.  Also to help conduct workshops in learning and teaching ways of observing the succession and abundance of their Functional Forests (FF).
  • Mycologists and microbiologists to help develop site based parameters for tracing the subsoil effects of FF.
  • Nutritionists, food engineers, agronomists to study the nutritional value of their crops.
  • Mapping Engineers to help learn and develop high quality site maps to trace the progress of FF.
  • People with videography skills to help shoot video stories of our daily work (ecological and emotional landscapes).
  • Carpenters and natural builders to help enhance our camping facilities.
  • Electrical Engineers to help develop passive solar energy powered systems.

Opportunities for Campers

Ecological Landscape

Syntropic system designs and applications, local species selection, layer and location identification, plant propagation, pruning, grafting and nursery work, harvesting and processing. Also polyculture planting on contour, mulch production or collection and mulching at scale, water harvesting, retention and maintenance techniques, wild harvesting, natural living or workspace design from scratch or retrofit and implementation.

Emotional Landscape

Personal and intercultural resilience building through one-on-one or group coaching, community building through work and fun, local food preparation and sharing.

Additional Activities:                                                                                                                                

The camp’s focus is ecological and emotional landscape restoration. Hence their daily flow is designed accordingly. Each day campers spend time restoring earthly elements by planting, seed sowing and pricking out, doing nursery work, mulching and pruning. They do this by listening to their inner voices and by feeling the work we in their bodies. Evenings start at the big dinner table and often continue by the fireside, under a vast show of stars and a magnificent lake view. Sharing stories and reflections, playing music, singing and dancing are some of the ways they show our gratitude for being alive and co-creating together. 

Campers are also exposed to possibilities of trekking, swimming, foraging, fishing, yoga, chi gong, meditation, coaching, manual therapy, inner organ massage and other possibilities during their stay.

Some activities are offered freely to participants. Some workshops may have a nominal fee or a request for donation for facilitators. Some services are offered with a tariff. 

Campers who are willing to offer a workshop or any other service are kindly asked to let the camp know in advance of their stay. 

Weekend opportunities

Camp FFZA  is surrounded by the abundance of natural bays along the Mediterranean Sea offering minimum comfort toilets, showers and some sea sports activities, massages, restaurants, bars, music and entertainment. Forests, rivers, lakes, mountains and waterfalls in the region provide wonderful opportunities for discovery, learning and relaxation. Some waterfalls offer open air balconies, toilets, traditional meals and spirits. All stated alternatives vary according to season.

Cost to stay at the camp

Accommodations: FFZA offers three types of stay experiences. You can camp with your tent on the FFZA Campsite where you will find compost toilets, open-air showers, common kitchen and an open-air fireplace. Home stay in local houses is a second option. A third option is staying in Pensions or Motels in the town of Köyceğiz. 

Camp stay fee 35 Euro/night including 2 meals. Staying a minimum of 1 week is required for this option. Raw ingredients for 2 meals is offered by FFZA.  Everyday, 2 alternating people cook for the group to support the diversity of tastes, cooking techniques and knowledge exchange. 

Campers can purchase breakfast from local families according to their personal needs. Food lists are provided by FFZA team and delivery is included in the pricing. Purchasing can also be done from their Nourish Life Webshop which also includes delivery to FFZA Campsite. Shops and stores can also be found in the center of Köyceğiz which can be reached by a daily shuttle service or bicycles. 

Home stay fee 35.- Euro where you can stay in a single or shared room in a local family’s house. Traditional breakfast will be served by the host family. Single transfer between FFZA Campsite, your home of choice and breakfast is included in the price. 

Motel stay fee 40.- Euro where standard local breakfast is served. Motels are located in the town center of Köyceğiz and often situated close to the lake. Single transfer between FFZA Campsite, your Motel of choice and breakfast is included in the price. 

Next camper experience

To be confirmed.

Vision and Socio-economic context

FFZA envisions a world where humanity associates the main source of its basic needs with Functional Forests. Both physical (food, fodder, fuel, medicine, building materials, fibres, materials, dyes, glues etc.) and emotional (meaning, joy, relationship, participation, personal growth, and contribution).

The FFZA Campsite is situated amidst an arid agricultural land in rural Köyceğiz, Muğla – Turkey. The farmers of the area rely on seasonal grains and small-scale animal husbandry. The recent surge of migration from big cities to the area has impacted land prices dramatically and thereby has incentivised local farmers to sell their land. This is having devastating effects on local culture, traditional land-use practices, and the environment.      At Camp FFZA, they are planting seeds, seedlings, and saplings of a multi-layered Functional Forest. At the same time, they are weaving relationships with local and regional players from all walks of life to develop the social fabric that is needed for social, economic, and ecological restoration.

Seedling camp

Organising Partners

Camping (basic)-bring your own tents Homestays with local families                      Basic sanitation
Cellphone network
Habitat creation                                          Kitchen (basic)                                          Children’s play facilities


Restoration Activities

Water retention (soil)                                        Water retention (dams/ponds)                                Tree Planting                                                                Soil restoration                                                    Food planting                                                Erosion prevention                                    Natural building                                                  Fire Prevention                                      Agroforestry                                                    Cover cropping                                        Mulching                                                  Propagation                                                Pruning                                                    Coaching                                                             

Latest News from the Camp

How to apply

Please complete the form below to express your interest in joining the team at Camp FFZA.

What you must do to ensure your own safety at an Ecosystem Restoration Camp

Your safety is very important to us. Most camps are in locations that are completely safe for you to travel to. Some camps are in locations where there is civil unrest, higher levels of crime, or in areas where there could be severe nature events (earthquakes, tornados, vulcanic eruptions). We strongly advise you to check with your national authority’s travel advisory service to see if there are specific travel advisories for the region you are travelling to. We strongly advise you to comply with that travel advisory. If there is a negative travel advisory for the area you plan to go to, we want to impress on you that it is your decision to not heed the warnings and go. ERC can then not be liable in that situation if something happens to you.

Work at camps is usually safe. The camp coordinators make your safety their highest priority too. But you will be working with tools and sometimes even (heavy) machinery. Sometimes the terrain can be slightly treacherous. Heat or cold can become a problem for people at work that do not take the necessary measures to prevent injury from weather conditions. Especially in remote locations, all people at an Ecosystem Restoration Camp will need to watch out for eachother’s safety. For this reason we ask you to also sign our Code of Conduct, through which you commit to contributing to a safe environment at camps for all that are there with you. Take yours and all other camper’s safety seriously! Together, while watching over eachother, we can restore our ecosystems safely and successfully.

Contact us:

Stichting Ecosystem Restoration Foundation /
Ecosystem Restoration Camps 2020

Joppelaan 77
7215 AD Joppe
The Netherlands

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