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Imminent hazard within the Ghar El Melh area

Now that the summer season vacationer season within the Ghar El Melh area is over, we are able to deeply talk about the environmental injury that these influxes of vacationers exert every year on the area.

Ghar El Melh, a coastal area positioned within the northwest of Tunisia endowed with a wealthy pure and cultural heritage. The seashores of Sidi Ali El Mekki, Coucou and the cliff of Cap Farine, are the principle vacationer sights of the area.

The standard of the ocean, the individuality of the panorama and the gorgeous gastronomic provide entice hundreds of holiday makers yearly through the summer season season and provide them a nice and enticing setting for his or her holidays.

However, past this idyllic picture, consultants specific their considerations in regards to the present environmental state of affairs wherein the wetland and the seaside of Ghar El Melh are positioned.

Do we all know the excessive ecological worth of the Ghar El Melh wetland?

The setting and ecology are what make Ghar El Melh so particular and so distinctive. This area is endowed with a wetland of inestimable worth. It extends over greater than 15,000 ha on the shores of the lagoon complicated.

The lagoons of Ghar El Melh play an essential function in mitigating local weather change. Certainly, they assist handle excessive climate occasions by mitigating floods and coastal storm surges and offering water in occasions of drought. .

As well as, these lagoons present comparatively distinctive and very important ecosystem companies to the area people within the area and are residence to in depth fauna and flora biodiversity.

The lagoon itself helps artisanal fishing and a system of conventional agriculture on islets referred to as “Gattaya” and in addition RAMLI* tradition.

The target of this conventional agriculture is to irrigate the crops naturally from under, because of the motion of percolation of a small sheet of recent water in relation to the tide. These methods are very particular to Ghar El Melh.

The lagoon complicated of Ghar El Melh is exclusive. It is without doubt one of the most valuable coastal heritage websites in Tunisia.

Ghar El Melh was designated in 2007 as a “wetland of worldwide significance” by the Ramsar* conference. Additionally it is the primary metropolis in Africa and the Arab world to obtain the “wetland metropolis” accreditation award in 2018, in recognition of its official dedication to efforts to assist the safety and sustainability of wetlands. .

In response to public authorities and the World Large Fund for Nature (WWF) North Africa-Tunis workplace, this pure website have to be protected and preserved greater than ever within the present context of local weather change and rising temperatures.
As well as, this wetland is now the ally of the native inhabitants of Ghar El Melh by offering them with pure merchandise in addition to agriculture, fishing and tourism.

The seaside of Sidi Ali El Mekki: the capability exceeds the boundaries

Ghar El Melh has turn out to be regardless of itself a vital vacation spot for native tourism conveying a picture of a small paradise. Guests spotlight the seaside of Sidi Ali El Mekki which might be the preferred attraction of Ghar El Melh.

This creates jobs and monetary windfalls for present native operators, but additionally presents considerations in view of environmental and ecological transgressions.

In response to figures from a survey carried out by the GEMWET* undertaking, which is led by the WWF of North Africa, Ghar El Melh welcomed in 2019 greater than 735,842 customers and 44,856 autos through the excessive season (June 15 – September 15). .

July was the busiest month of the season with 322,405 customers. The seaside is saturated with customers.

“These numbers exceed the area’s carrying capability and have an effect on its wetland and pure ecosystem. Additionally, the dearth of coordination between native administrations and the weak point of public authorities have led to an unlawful occupation of virgin areas within the public maritime area (Coucou seaside, and many others.)”. Declares Khouloud CHARFI head of the GEMWET undertaking inside the WWF of North Africa-Tunis.

Industrial concessions reminiscent of eating places and their respective services for hire (huts, parasols, hammocks, for instance), represent one of many makes use of that occupy essentially the most house on the seaside of Sidi Ali El Mekki.

The variety of these concessions is regulated by the Coastal Safety and Growth Company (APAL), which has acknowledged the determine of 60 concessions giving the appropriate to the set up of eating places, huts and parasols.

Then again, the Municipality of Ghar El Melh informs of the existence of 127 installations with license, and one other 100 unlawful exploitations on the seaside of Coucou (60 cabins and parasols and 40 eating places + cabins + parasols). These installations haven’t been approved by the Municipality.

The Municipality additionally remembers the existence of 8 unlawful occupations (eating places + cabins + umbrellas) unauthorized within the Cape Farina cliff sector and 5 concessions reached by the ocean within the northeast sector of the seaside.

Which means the utmost variety of business concessions that might match on the seaside has been exceeded and that the areas occupied will essentially must be decrease than the requirements indicated by the Municipality itself.

Alarming state of affairs on the seaside and on the banks of the Sidi Ali El Mekki lagoon:

Look of sure segments of the dune belt of Sidi Ali El Mekki, Ghar El Melh, Tunisia (supply: UPV, 2019)

In response to Khouloud CHARFI, the inflow of holiday makers to the seashores with out sufficient devoted infrastructure has injury to the setting of the area.

The anarchy of the set up of vacationer services on the seaside results in the lack of biodiversity (disappearance of dunes, vegetation and wildlife habitats) within the seaside and the lagoons of Sidi Ali El Mekki.

We additionally observe the discharge of wastewater and the presence of rubble and different strong waste from these vacationer services. This contributes to air pollution, salinization, elevated threat of sediment and soil contamination and uncontrolled improve in accessibility to the wetland.

Equally, ignoring that it’s an internationally protected space, the set up of hydraulic and highway infrastructures for the good thing about vacationer actions causes the discount of water tables and the discount of the pure capabilities of wetlands. and their surfaces.

Additionally, we can’t neglect parking, which has been acknowledged as one of many main environmental issues of Sidi Ali El Mekki seaside as a result of the variety of vehicles counted on busy days is 3,662.

These autos parked close to the seaside contribute to air air pollution and influence the dune belt of Sidi Ali El Mekki.

“Sadly, guests and repair suppliers don’t understand the environmental degradation on the seaside or the lagoons; they don’t seem to be important of problems with environmental sustainability or conservation of pure areas. It’s time to put in place a nationwide technique for the administration of accountable and sustainable tourism”. Provides Khouloud CHARFI.

Concerning using new seaside areas reminiscent of Coucou seaside, the WWF NA assures us that this can be a very dangerous initiative for the setting, unlawful and unsafe for customers. It’s about a particularly fragile website on which relaxation all of the hydrogeomorphological mechanisms of the lagoon of Ghar el Melh.

It’s subsequently a seaside house that have to be protected successfully and with all obtainable means on the highest degree, for the reason that best environmental modifications in your entire area depend upon this coastal enclave.

The identical debate might happen regarding Cape Farina, the place the vacationer strain is much less, however the place the environmental and security issues are comparable.

*GEMWET Venture “Conservation and Sustainable Growth of Coastal Wetlands of Excessive Ecological Worth” is funded by the MAVA Basis and led by the World Wildlife Fund of North Africa-Tunis (WWF NA). It was applied in 2018 in Ghar El Melh belonging to the governorate of Bizerte in northern Tunisia.
The GEMWET undertaking intervenes extra exactly on the degree of the lagoon of Ghar El Melh and its watershed.

*Ramsar Conference: an intergovernmental treaty opening up for the conservation and rational use of wetlands, to which Tunisia adhered in 1980 by registering the Ichkeul website.

* RAMLI tradition: distinctive cultures on the planet primarily based on a passive irrigation system the place the roots of the vegetation are fed in all seasons by rainwater and water saved within the mountains following the geological karst formation which ensures runoff steady move of water in direction of the lagoon and the Sebkha.

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