Artículo | 22 Mayo, 2020

Growing interest in Nature-based Solutions among Tunisian conservation actors

On the 27th anniversary of the International Biodiversity Day (22 May), the Tunisian Ministry of the Environment organized a videoconference last 20 May in collaboration with the Directorate General of Forests and the Ministry of Health, IUCN-Med, WWF’s office in Tunisia, the Regional Activity Center for Specially Protected Areas of the Barcelona Convention and the National Observatory for New and Emerging Diseases. This conference shed light on this year's theme: Our solutions are in nature.

Le Ministre de l’Environnement, M. Chokri Ben Hassan a inauguré cette visioconférence en soulignant que « l'importance que la Constitution de la deuxième République tunisienne attache aux ressources naturelles dans son concept global se reflète dans les objectifs nationaux de développement durable à l'horizon 2030 et dans le Programme national pour la biodiversité 2018-2030. »

Mr. Chokri Ben Hassan, Tunisian Minister of the Environment, inaugurated this videoconference by stressing that “the importance given by the Constitution of the II Tunisian Republic s to natural resources in its overall concept is reflected in the national objectives of sustainable development in the 2030 and in the 2018-2030 National Biodiversity Program."

Mr. Chokri Ben Hassan also highlighted the importance of establising a Red List of Threatened Species at national level, which will make it possible to improve current understanding of the conservation status of several species of flora and fauna in Tunisia: "I would like to thank the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which will help us carry out a study on the red list of endangered species of birds and wild plants in Tunisia. "

Mr. Antonio Troya, Director of the Center for Mediterranean Cooperation added that IUCN would continue to develop the work already put in place, through "the support of the IUCN Red List, the drafting of action plans for the protection of species and the development of new knowledge products for the Green List of protected natural areas. "

Our Solutions are in Nature - theme of Biodiversity Day 2020
visioconference_tunisie ministere environnment journee internationale biodiversitePhoto: Ministère de l'Environnement Tunisie

Mr. Troya also clarified that "Nature-based Solutions involve working with ecosystems to effectively tackle social challenges through actions that can benefit both human beings and biodiversity", and mentioned the Program of Small Initiatives of Civil Society Organizations in North Africa (PPI-OSCAN) as "a great project of support to civil society in Tunisia which makes it possible to deploy Nature based Solutions to respond to challenges like climate change and food security. "

Speakers underlined the link between the current health crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the decline of ecosystems: “COVID-19, like other major epidemics, is not unrelated to the crisis of biodiversity and climate. We are destroying natural environments at an accelerated rate "explained Mr. Mounir Majdoub, international expert in Environment and Sustainable Development.

« Certaines activités humaines continuent à réduire le nombre d’espèces vivantes : l’agriculture intensive, l’usage massif de produits phytosanitaires, la pêche intensive, l’élevage industriel, la chasse d’espèces protégées, la déforestation… Nous mettons en contact des populations humaines, souvent en état de santé précaire, avec des agents pathogènes » a-t-il ajouté.

"Certain human activities continue to reduce the number of living species, including intensive agriculture, the massive use of phytosanitary products, intensive fishing, industrial farming, hunting of protected species, deforestation ... We are putting in contact human populations, often in precarious health, with pathogens ”, he added.

This conference was an opportunity to strengthen the dialogue on the implementation of Nature-based Soltuions in the Mediterranean.

Finally, the various speakers underlined the urgency of implementing concrete solutions to halt the decline of biodiversity and respond to the challenges of climate change, stressing that "mobilizing all sectors is more than ever necessary. "

For more information, please contact Maher Majoub