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NotificationsNotify me of updates to Involvement of local users is the overlooked background information for improving implementation of conservation solutions in coastal lagoon management: the case of the Ichkeul National Park (Tunisia) pp. 351-370
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Involvement of local users is the overlooked background information for improving implementation of conservation solutions in coastal lagoon management: the case of the Ichkeul National Park (Tunisia) pp. 351-370 $100.00
Authors:  (Caterina Casagranda, 6a, rue Crudère, F-13006 Marseille, France)
Abstract:
The Garaet El Ichkeul in Northern Tunisia has long been recognized as one of the four major wetland areas in the Western Mediterranean basin (MAB Reserve in 1977, World Heritage and Ramsar site in 1980). The Ichkeul lagoon and its marshes perform essential ecological functions which are the basis of multiple services that contribute to the wellbeing and economy of the local community. The villagers living within the core area and the buffer zone have used to make a living off the land that did not seem to pose any threat to the functions and services of these ecosystems. However, the construction of dams on the rivers which provide water for the lake and marshes, as planned by the Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture for the purposes of agricultural, urban and industrial development, has had an impact on the ecological character of the site.
The Tunisian authorities, aware of the impact of these dams on the natural environment at Ichkeul, founded a National Park. Unfortunately, the Park regulations were introduced without taking properly into account the reality of the socio-economic conditions of local residents. The lack of rehabilitation measures forced the villagers to exploit the resources in a non-selective way, which in turn further aggravated the existing pressure on the Park and the precarious social conditions in which the families survive.
An international multidisciplinary study of all biotic and non-biotic aspects of the National Park drew up an integrated management plan which was designed to take into account the socio-economic development of the region. Since then, a number of conservation measures have been adopted by the Tunisian authorities. They mainly take into account the flora and fauna but without consultation of the people affected by these measures – a fact that possibly explains the limited implementation of the management plan proposed by the multidisciplinary study. 


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Involvement of local users is the overlooked background information for improving implementation of conservation solutions in coastal lagoon management: the case of the Ichkeul National Park (Tunisia) pp. 351-370