The Northwest region of Tunisia hosted from August 26 to 29 an eco-tourism workshop on the theme Eco-tourism driving sustainability”.
The Pinna APDPE Association organized the workshop as part of its project ECOMEL funded by the PPI-OSCAN stemming from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCNmed).
The PPI-OSCAN is a regional initiative for the strengthening of the Civil Society in North Africa, which helps young associations to get involved in new challenges related to the environment and sustainable development through innovative projects in the region.
The first edition of this workshop held as part of the year 2017 as International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, was organized under the auspices of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with the support of the MAVA Foundation for Nature and the French Global Environment Facility (FFEM).
“The role of eco-tourism in the sustainable development of Tunisia’s northwestern region” is the theme of the event.
The workshop gathered tourism professionals, representatives of national and local governments, associations, tour operators, local and foreign media for whom the development of ecological tourism is both possible and desirable.
The workshop aimed to support Tunisian young democracy in its efforts to develop eco-tourism in the northwestern region of the country leading to the establishment of a roadmap aimed at mobilizing local and national organizations and structures of the country.
Some of the workshop’s objectives are to give visibility to the destination Northwest Tunisia and more particularly to the destinations of the main cities of Jendouba namely Tabarka, Ain Drahem, and Ghar Dimaou.
It also aims to encourage meetings between Tunisian organizations concerned by eco-tourism in order to contribute to the national structuring of the ecological tourism sector.
Besides, the workshop seek to facilitate the exchange of good practices in ecological tourism among professionals and strengthen the networks of the ecotourism sector, in particular, the networks that claim to be part of the social and solidarity economy.
Topping the agenda of the workshop, field visits for experts, journalists and guests in the Khroumire (a mountainous region located in northwestern Tunisia and northeastern Algeria that has extensive forests of cork oak) and Mogods (Mountain ranges of Northern Tunisia, culminating at 500 meters height constituting the limit of the region of Khroumire).
The programme also includes sustainable tourism days in coastal areas in Tabarka, eco-tourism day in forest environment in Ain Drahem and eco-tourism day in the protected Areas in El Feija National Park.
President of the Association Pinna APDPE Chokri Mansour said in a statement : “ I believe that by facilitating the coordination of ecotourism projects, we will ensure that the local communities will more actively participate in providing service and organizing programs. This can contribute to poverty alleviation at the local level as these activities will generate income and contribute to the local development. Through the small efforts of many, we wish to create a light to the world of unity and service. By creating income opportunities we hope to contribute to a better living of local communities in the northwest of Tunisia and to reduce the pressure on the natural habitat and resources.
He also noted that :” Promoting ecotourism activities in coastal areas such as Tabarka will create a positive impact on the socio-economic status of the local communities. The members of these communities, may they be skilled or unskilled workers, small shopkeepers or people involved in providing services such as transport, meals, etc., will gain a more regular and higher income.”
“Recognizing that the natural resources are the basis for better income and local socio-economic development, it is expected that the local communities will actively contribute to the conservation and wise management of these resources, “ Chokri Mansour went on saying.