As part of the preparation for the celebration of World Wetlands Day (WWD) 2020, a consultation meeting was held on 3 January 2020 at the Directorate General of Forests (DGF) of Tunisia, chaired by Ms Hela Salmane-Guidara of the DGF, chair of MedWet and the Ramsar Focal Point in Tunisia, with the support of the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative (MedWet).
The meeting brought together Tunisian stakeholders forming a steering committee that has been actively working for years for wetland conservation in the country, including the DGF, the Association des Amis des Oiseaux (AAO), WWF North Africa, the National Agronomic Institute of Tunisia (INAT), the Coastal Protection and Planning Agency (APAL), and the Réseau Enfants de La Terre (RET).
The meeting was held at the invitation of the MedWet Initiative in the framework of its project, funded by the French Agency for Biodiversity (AFB), which aims to strengthen the promotion of WWD in the Mediterranean region by supporting the stakeholders in developing and highlighting the activities carried out to celebrate WWD.
The purpose of this meeting was to form a steering committee which will be responsible for monitoring the implementation of the celebration of World Wetlands Day at the national level.
The meeting provided an opportunity for for these actors to discuss the animations planned to celebrate the Wetlands Day, to exchange ideas on how to improve and promote the implementation of this international event, and to identify further effective actions for the protection, management and enhancement of wetland ecosystems in Tunisia.
The steering committee agreed that a high priority should be given in the coming months to further raising the visibility of Tunisian wetlands and their importance for nature and mankind, but also to highlight the state of these ecosystems and to unite efforts to promote actions to halt and reverse their degradation and loss. Such exchanges between the stakeholders will continue beyond this meeting to progress the future development of these planned activities.
It’s worth noting that the Ramsar Convention entered into force in Tunisia on 24 March 1981 and that Tunisia currently has 41 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites).