MAIN PHYTOGENETIC RESOURCES OF TUNISIA AND THE MAIN THREATS
Tunisia has 3,573 plant species and 2,244 animal species. There are 239 endangered vascular plant species and 101 species at risk of extinction. The percentage of forested land in Tunisia is approximately 12.6%. The main threats for biological diversity in Tunisia are increased pressure on agricultural production to meet the population’s needs, climate change and desertification.
STATUS OF IN-SITU AND EX-SITU CONSERVATION
Tunisia has 24 protected areas, 1 RAMSAR site and 4 Biosphere Reserves. Protected areas cover about 2.5% of the country’s total surface area. Ichkeul Park, with over 12,600 ha, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
There are also 16 nature reserves housing many species of great ecological value. According to a study forming part of the WWF Mediterranean programme, the north-west coastal region is one of the 13 Mediterranean sites with the greatest animal and plant diversity.
The Tunisian National Strategy for the Conservation of Biodiversity has proposed the creation of new protected areas, currently in an advanced stage. They include Orbata, l’Oued Dekouk (6,000 ha) and Zaghouan (2,000 ha).
The government is working on criteria for the identification of other possible protected land and marine areas, as well as on enforcement of legislation on management of the existing protected areas.
According to the National Strategy for the Conservation of Biodiversity, a National Germplasm Bank should be created for the ex-situ conservation of Tunisia’s genetic resources. There should also be a glossary of the country’s most representative medicinal and aromatic plants.
Research for this study indicated that there are various entities working in the field of biodiversity.
Botanic gardens associated with research activities or centres are the INRAT, the Monastir Botanic Garden of Medicinal Plants, and the Belvedere Jardin des Plantes. Facilities mainly for recreational purposes include Beldevere Park, Gorjan Park, Habit Thameur Park and the Mediterranean Garden.
Centers of plant diversity
- Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique de Tunisie (INRAT)
- Monastir Medicinal Botanic Garden
- Jardin des Plantes de la Ville au Belvédère
- Parc du Belvédère
- Gorjan Jardin
- Parc Habit Thameur
- Le jardin de la Méditerranée
- Arobretum National de Tunis