Bou-Hedma National Park, TUNISIA
- Site: Bou-Hedma National Park and its archaeological landscape
- Keywords: Tunicia, Cultural Landscape, Bouhedma National Park, Biosphere Reserve, roman archaeological remains, addax antelope.
1. OFFICIAL CLASSIFICATIONS AND CATEGORIES
1.1 National and International Classification Lists
The Bouhedma National Park and its archaeological landscape is in the Tentative List of UNESCO (named “Parc National de Bouhedma”) with date of submission: 28/05/2008, criteria: (vii)(viii)(x), category: natural, and ref.: 5384. The site was declared a National Park in 1980. It covers an area of 16,488 hectares of which 6000 are under full protection.The park is part of the network of Biosphere reserves since 1977. Also, IUCN has classified the site in category II (national park). Bou-Hedma is on BirdLife International Important Bird Areas Database BirdLife International 2005 BirdLife’s online World Bird Database: the site for bird conservation. Version 2.0. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International.
- Tentative List of UNESCO
- Biosphere Reserves
- Protection Figures
1.2. Cultural Landscape Category/Tipology
Organically evolved landscapesRelict (or fossil) landscape
1.3. Description and Justification by Med-O-Med
The Djebel Bou-Hedma Biosphere Reserve and National Park is situated 85 km east of Gafsa along the southern Tunisian mountain ranges that are extensions of the Saharan Atlas. It is considered by National and International Organism as a privileged site because of its ecological interest. For this inventory, Med-O-Med has taken in consideration also the archaeological vestiges found in the Park, defining the site as one Cultural Landscape (relict landscape), taking into account its natural and cultural heritage (UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, Article 1, 1972, Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention, 2008): -Its Natural Heritage Components: Bou-Hedma National Park is significant mainly because of its flora and fauna. It is the best site for an overview of the biological diversity of the Maghreb a century ago. The vegetation of Bou-Hedma has the typical Mediterranean semi-arid elements of Tunisia such as plant communities of permanent and seasonal watercourses as well as steppe communities resulting from degraded juniper forests. However, it is famous for its relicts from pre-Saharan savanna (for instance Acacia raddiana forests). The fauna is characteristic of the Sahara and arid Mediterranean regions including elements which have been destroyed elsewhere in Tunisia. Endangered species comprise the addax antelope (Addax nasomaculatus), Struthio camelus australis and Gazella dama mhorr. -Its Cultural Heritage Components: Bou-Hedma has an important archaeological heritage of ancient roman settlements that occupied the site, as the ancient remains of roman villages, the roman bridge of Wadi Bautista, relatively well preserved, the ancient roman pools and the rest of the roman aqueduct. There are also Neolithic remains of funerary elements, some rock paintings, berber caves, in various caves…
2. NAME / LOCATION / ACCESSIBILITY
- Current denomination Bou-Hedma National Park.
- Current denomination Bou-Hedma National Park.
- Original denomination Bou-Hedma, Djebel Bou-Hedma, Bouhedma.
- Popular denomination Bou-Hedma, Djebel Bou-Hedma, Bouhedma.
- Address: Bou-Hedma National Park is located in both the Gafsa Governorate and Sidi Bouzid Governorate in Tunisia.
- Geographical coordinates: Coordinates: N34 27 - 34 32 E9 23 - 9 41 Altitude range (m): 61 to 824
- Area, boundaries and surroundings: National Park of Bou Hedma is at center of Tunisia (85 km east of Gafsa and 105 km west of Sfax). Area (hec): 16786.
A museum was built in the park. The park also includes receiving animal enclosures, with an area of 300 to 600 m², paddocks of 10 ha acclimatization, several pens of exposure and a nursery for filling non-forested areas of the park.
3. LEGAL ISSUES
- Owner: Tunisian Goverment.
- Body responsible for the maintenance: Ministry of Agriculture. Direction General of Forest.
- Legal protection: National Park of Bou Hedma was established in 1980 and covers an area of more than 16500 hectares of which 6000 are under full protection.The park is part of the network of biosphere reserves.
- Public or private organizations working in the site: National Park of Bou-Hedma is the best site for an overview of the biological diversity of the Maghreb a century ago. While some species have been reintroduced to Bou Hedma, it is through cooperation and response agencies (zoo) foreigners, and that with a cost and considerable organization.
There are ancient evidences Neolithic period and Roman civilization.
5. GENERAL DESCRIPTION
5.1. Natural heritage
- Heritage: Archaeological
- Geography: High Mountain
- Site topography: Natural
- Climate and environmental conditions: Park Boo-Hedma extends into the lower arid bioclimatic variation temperate and cool, even in the semi-arid lower fresh variant. Rainfall can be estimated at 140 mm in the plains and 300 mm at the top of the jebel.
- Geological and Geographical characteristics: The Djebel Bou-Hedma Biosphere Reserve and National Park is situated 85 km east of Gafsa along the southern Tunisian mountain ranges that are extensions of the Saharan Atlas. It consists of a limestone and marl mountain range with some travertine deposits and a gypsum and salt alluvium plain.
Bouhedma National Park represents an ecosystem unique in Tunisia.The vegetation of Bou-Hedma has the typical Mediterranean semi-arid elements of Tunisia such as plant communities of permanent and seasonal watercourses as well as steppe communities resulting from degraded juniper forests. However, it is famous for its relicts from pre-Saharan savanna (for instance Acacia raddiana forests). -Savannah of Acacia raddiana, Cenchrus ciliaris, Digitaria nodosa, Aristida plumosa and A. obtusa. -Steppe with Rhanterium suaveolens. -Relict Acacia raddiana forest with Artemisia herba alba. -Arthrophytum scoparium steppe. -Gymnocarpus decander and Stipa tenacissima steppe. -The main peak within the park, Djebel Bouhedma, which reaches 840 m, supports a vegetation dominated by Olea europaea, Juniperus phoenicea and Pistacia atlantica. On the surrounding plains Arthrophytum scoparium and A. schmittiamum are conspicuous elements.
The fauna is characteristic of the Sahara and arid Mediterranean regions including elements which have been destroyed elsewhere in Tunisia. Endangered species comprise the addax antelope (Addax nasomaculatus), Struthio camelus australis and Gazella dama mhorr. The Addax and Oryx (Oryx dammah) are cattle are among the mammalian species introduced to the park, and the gazelle mhorr. Other large mammals are represented by the Dorcas gazelle and Barbary sheep. In the park of Bou-Hedma, we also find the jackal, porcupine, striped hyena, the goundi, the jerboa, and bat. Two species of ostrich are found in Bou-Hedma: the North African ostrich (Struthio camelus camelus) and the South African ostrich (Struthio camelus australis). Both species were introduced. Numidian guinea fowl (Numidia meleagris) was also introduced at Bou Hedma. Among raptors, quoting Bonelli’s eagle, golden eagle, the booted eagle, peregrine falcon, the Kestrel, Lanner falcon, the buzzard, the little owl and barn owl. The partridge lives and nests in Bou-Hedma. Reptiles include monitor lizards of the desert, cobra, the horned viper, snakes…
Land uses and economical activities:Protected area because of its ecological interest. There are some agricultural activities in the site, and some tourism controled by the administration of the Park.
Summary of Landscapes values and characteristics:
The National Park offer a wonderful landscape plenty of forest, moutains, hills, valleys, natural springs and lakes, where endangered species of flora and fauna are still preserved. There are also around 200 berber families living in the area, and some archaeological remains of great value.
5.2. Cultural Heritage
A) Related to current constructions, buildings and art pieces in general
In the case of gardens: original and current style:It is not the case.
B) Related to ancient remains
- Archaeological components:
Bou-Hedma has an important archaeological heritage of ancient roman settlements that occupied the site, as the ancient remains of roman villages, the roman bridge of Wadi Bautista, relatively well preserved, the ancient roman pools and the rest of the roman aqueduct. There are also Neolithic remains of funerary elements, some rock paintings, berber caves…
- Traces in the environment of human activity: Ancient remains found in the area.
C) Related to intangible, social and spiritual values
- Population, ethnic groups: National Park of Bou-Hedma comprises an area of temporary occupation of 2400 acres and homes to about 200 families (aroudn 1400 people, in 1999) and a buffer zone between the area of temporary occupation and protection zones.
- Languages and dialects: Arabic
- Lifestyle, believing, cults, traditional rites: Most population in the area are Berber
Condition: environmental/ cultural heritage degradation:The biosphere reserve faces mainly problems of desertification and excessive livestock grazing, partial land clearance and ploughing and resulting effects such as soil erosion. Research in the Bou-Hedma region is especially concerned with the restoration of the original woodland cover to combat desertification, particularly by re-afforestation of Acacia raddiana. An eco-museum has been established.
Perspectives/Views/ Points of interest/Setting:
-Bou-Hedma National Park. -Archaeological remains already described in this file.
Authenticity:Bou-Hedma National Park is the best site for an overview of the biological diversity of the Maghreb a century ago. Endangered species of flora and fauna are well preserved in the site. In another hand, the oldest archaeological remains found in the park date of Neolithic period.
Universality:Med-O-Med agrees the criteria proposed in the Tentative List of UNESCO (vii, viii, x) and resolves to include the criterion (iv): iv) The roman ancient vestiges (bridges, rest of villages, aqueduct...) and the neolithic funerary remains found in the park are a good example of a type of building and other human traces which are completely integrated in the nature, illustrating significant stages in human history (from prehistory until recent times). vii) Bou-Hedma National Park contains superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance. viii) Is is an outstanding example representing major stages of earth's history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features. x) Bou-Hedma National Park contains the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation as the addax antelope (Addax nasomaculatus), Struthio camelus australis and Gazella dama mhorr. IUCN defines the universalty and quality of the site as follows: Bou-Hedma National Park: Category II. "Protected area managed mainly for ecosystem protection and recreation Natural area of land and/or sea, designated to (a) protect the ecological integrity of one or more ecosystems for present and future generations, (b) exclude exploitation or occupation inimical to the purposes of designation of the area and (c) provide a foundation for spiritual, scientific, educational, recreational and visitor opportunities, all of which must be environmentally and culturally compatible."
Historical and graphical data (drawings, paintings, engravings, photographs, literary items…):
Bou-Hedma National Park and its archaeological landscape is one of all of the cultural landscapes of Tunisia which is included in The Cultural Landscape inventory runned by Med-O-Med.
http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5384/ http://www.unesco.org/mabdb/br/brdir/directory/biores.asp?mode=all&code=TUN+01http://www.ikuska.com/Africa/natura/parques/tunez/bou.htm http://whc.unesco.org/venice2002 http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=2165595 http://en.tunisientunisie.com/national-park-of-bou-hedma/ http://www.mammalwatching.com/Palearctic/palearcttunisia.html http://bioval.jrc.ec.europa.eu/APAAT/pa/4487/ http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/sitefactsheet.php?id=6945 http://www.birdlife.org on 05/06/2013 http://www.conservation.org/where/priority_areas/hotspots/Pages/hotspots_main.aspx -BirdLife International. (2013). Important Bird Areas factsheet: Bouhedma. -UNESCO. (2001). Convention concerning the protection of the world cultural and natural heritage. World Heritage Committee. 25 session. Helsinki, Finland. -UNESCO. (2002). Cultural Landscapes: the Challenges of Conservation. Associated Workshops, World Heritage. Ferrara , Italy.
Practical Information:-Réserve de biosphère Djebel Bou-Hedma: C.R.D.A de Sidi Bouzid, 9100 SIDI BOUZID, Tunisia. Tel: (216.76) 632 822 Fax: (216.76) 633 293 -Direction générale des forêts, Ministère de l'agriculture: 30, Rue Alain Savary, 1002 TUNIS - BELVEDERE, Tunisia. Tel: (216.71) 891 497 Fax: (216.71) 801 922 -Service des parcs nationaux, Ministère de l'agriculture: 30, Rue Alain Savary, 1002 Tunis Belvédère, Tunisia. Tel: (216) 71 891 497 Fax: (216) 71 801 922
Compiler Data: Sara martínez Frías.