In the framework of the MedPartnership, the partners to the “Integration of climatic variability and change into national strategies to implement the ICZM Protocol in the Mediterranean” project met in Tunis, Tunisia, on October 8 and 9. The host to these two technical meetings was the General Director Mr. Hassini of the General Direction of Environment, representing the Tunisian Ministry of Equipment and Environment. In addition to experts of the co-executing agencies to the project (UNEP-MAP, PAP/RAC, BP/RAC and GWP Med) and the UNEP-Grid Geneva, the meeting was attended by a number of Tunisian experts and stakeholders including the representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, the General Direction for Fisheries, Water, Quality of Life, Forests, the National Institute of Statistics, the National Agency for Coastal Planning and from its Observatory Unit, the National Environment Agency as well as representatives of the public society – in total 25-odd participants.
The aim of the meeting held on October 8 was to define the pilot case area for the demonstration project in Tunisia. The representatives of co-executive agencies explained how the demonstration case could be articulated at the national and local level, combining the Climagine participatory approach with the DIVA and RiVAMP models for the evaluation of socio-economic impacts of CC on coastal zones (PAP/RAC is responsible for the co-ordination of the DIVA model implementation). After a vivid discussion, a consensus was reached by the local partners, and the Kerkennah Islands were chosen as the demonstration site for Tunisia. This decision was based on the ecosystem value of the area and its particular vulnerability to climate change and extreme events. According to recent studies, a 50 cm rise in sea-level would immerse 30% of the Islands.
On October 9, the meeting was attended by the same participants on the international experts side, and some local stakeholders from the selected pilot area. The meeting discussed the structure of the future SDI Platform for data and information sharing on CC for the countries of the MedPartnership. The focus was on the localisation and availability of the data. The Tunisian Agency for Coastal Planning was appointed by the participants, under the approval of the General Direction of Environment, the new Focal Point for the project. The meeting was concluded by the representative of the Ministry of Environment, who reminded that great support was needed from all the partners to build a successful project in a very difficult political period, but insisted on the good and very promising work done during these two days.