Support to Sustainable Land Management in the Siliana Governorate
The project addresses the barriers and causes for land degradation and biodiversity loose in the Siliana governorate through a comprehensive and participatory approach. The project is a five-year project covering the same geographical area as IADP II Project area (IFAD loan in Siliana). The project area covers sites and key ecosystems in Siliana where the impacts of environmental degradation and rural poverty are coupled. It also includes Jbel Esserj, the site identified, by the Government, as having the highest priority for biodiversity conservation within the Siliana Region.
The project responds to the identified issues through the following components:
Promotion of enabling environment for SLM mainstreaming: This component supports SLM mainstreaming at all levels it entails reviews of the legal framework and making proposals for its alignment to the prevailing strategies and policies of the country. This component also strengthens the institutional framework supportive to SLM in light of the existing national strategy for a modern and sustainable advisory system that integrates the public sector, the private and NGO service providers, and includes in service provision activities for SLM. It similarly contributes to putting in place the conditions for the creation of comprehensive and integrated Knowledge Management System, seeking to network national stakeholders at different levels among themselves and with the regional and other international contexts;
Mainstreaming SLM in Agricultural Activities: This component is focusing on investments within agricultural production systems and land in Siliana. It contributes to implementation of demonstrative SLM Investments through participatory Local Development Plans. Activities entail, beyond farmer training, promotion of SLM in rain-fed crop areas, support to land regrouping and consolidated soil and water conservation works, improvement of local farmer's livelihoods and support to environmentally-friendly micro-enterprises. This component supports the promotion of SLM practices and Conservation Agriculture (including organic farming) on 3000 ha and trains 900 farmers on these practices, regroups about 1500 ha of agricultural land and consolidating SWC works on 1600 ha of agricultural land;
Mainstreaming SLM in Sylvo-pastoral activities: The project pays particular attention to the degraded rangelands ecosystems in Siliana through this component that seeks to encourage sustainable community NRM systems and to generate impact-oriented and locally adapted SLM investments in selected rangelands. It works towards more sustainable use of common-rights land and improvement in rangeland user livelihoods. The project also supports the promotion of environmentally friendly micro-enterprises that contributes to reduced pressure on rangelands reduced through. This component seeks to support the development of a participatory sylvo-pastoral management plan, to improve management of about 1200 ha of family-managed pastureland, the rehabilitation of 500 ha of common-rights rangeland through SLM techniques, increase the production capacity of 4 sylvo-pastoral nurseries, the development of 5 micro-enterprises groups and training of 900 livestock herders on range SLM. The project supports conservation efforts in Siliana through the protection of a key ecosystem of local and global importance (Djebel Esserj). A full component for Conservation of Bio-diversity in Jebel Esserj contributes to the extension of the national park from 100 ha to about 3000 ha while developing a management plan for the park. Eco-tourism activities are promoted through the establishment of minimum park facilities to promote eco-tourism and support to the creation of one ecomuseum and bird watching posts. Targeted capacity building are provided for PA management and sustainable NRM. The project also seeks to disseminate information about the park and its conservation value for awareness raising purposes.
This investment leverages significant global environmental benefits. Global environmental benefits are yielded from the protection and re-integration of agricultural-and rangeland ecosystems functional capacity in key sites in Siliana. Investment under components 1, 2 and 3 contributes to increased carbon sequestration over about 3000 ha of land, increased NPP of targeted ecosystems. The project also produces important global environmental benefits through the reduction in habitat fragmentation and increase in protected area of local species and key habitats. In terms of biodiversity conservation, the project conserves habitats of global importance and unique sites in the country like Acer monspessulanum and protect severely threatened species such as (flora) Acer monspessulanum.,Cupressus semervirens, rare outlier population of Quercus suber and exceptional populations of Cotoneaster racemiflora var tomentella, Sorbus aria subsp meridionalis, and Rosa canina subsp pouzini. The project indirectly protects endangered fauna species like the Pilgrim Falcon and the Booted Eagle. The area is also characterized by archaeological sites and features of cultural heritage including a traditional form of cattle raising whereas the animals are left to grow wild in mountainous areas and eventually re-captured through bloodless hunting systems.