Ecotourism and Conservation of Desert Biodiversity
The proposed development objective is to contribute to the conservation of desert biodiversity and the sustainability of desert land in three selected national parks. This objective will be achieved through piloting a new approach to the management of protected areas, which includes the development of ecotourism and community engagement.
By promoting the development of ecotourism in some of the most disadvantaged regions of Tunisia, the project will also contribute to rural economic diversification and the creation of jobs for women and young people in particular.
INTERVENTION AREA AND TARGET GROUPS
The project will focus on three national parks located in the desert of the south- and centre-west of Tunisia. In the south-west, the Dghoumès (Tozeur Governorate) and Kebili (Jbil Governorate) national parks will be targeted. In the centre-west, the Bouhedma national park (Sidi Bouzid and Gafsa Governorates), which is also a biosphere reserve, will be targeted. The beneficiaries of this project are the local communities, grass-roots organisations, and public-sector employees. More precisely, the project will help the following:
(i) At the local level, those who could benefit from the proposed project are: local communities, including grass-roots groups and organisations such as farmers’ associations or cooperatives, women’s organisations, youth organisations, community development groups, and environmental NGOs. They could benefit through their involvement in the preparation and implementation of NP management plans, training programmes that aim to increase the development of technical and commercial skills, and support for job-creating and income-generating activities linked to the development of ecotourism.
(ii) At the national level, the following institutions could also be key beneficiaries from the proposed projects, in particular through technical assistance and capacity-building activities: the regional and central departments of the Directorate General for the Environment and Quality of Life (DGEQV), of the Ministry for the Environment; the Directorate General of Forests (DGF) and the Regional Commissions for Agricultural Development (CRDA) under the Ministry for Agriculture (MA) in targeted governorates; and the National Office.