Addressing impacts of climate change on Tunisian Kerkennah Islands

Source: MedPartnership

Following a day of consultations and discussions with the Ministry of Environment, the Coastal Protection and Planning Agency (APAL), civil society, and other institutions, the Kerkennah Islands were selected as the Tunisian demonstration site within the UNEP/MAP GEF Climate Variability project. The Islands form a unique and beautiful ecosystem, important for fisheries and tourism, and yet are regarded as highly at risk from the impacts of climate change and variability. Recent studies indicate that a 50 cm rise in sea-level would immerse 30% of the Islands. The population of the Islands is about 15,000 which increases by ten-fold in the summer due to tourism, creating great pressure on the natural resources of the Islands. The demonstration project to be implemented within the Climate Variability project will undertake an in-depth assessment of the impacts of climate variability to the marine and coastal ecosystems (including modeling of the beaches), in full participation with local and regional stakeholders with the support of Plan Bleu, and UNEP-Grid Geneva experts. The final results will provide a series of strategic actions and recommendations to complement the 2012 management plan for the Islands. In parallel, ecological and socio-economic and fisheries assessments will be undertaken, by SPA/RAC for the creation of a new Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the northern part of Kerkennah.

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