Jun 2, 2017

A Treasured Coastline

Djerba
Tunisia
by
Climate Adaptation UNDP
,
Exposure
Evidence of a receding coastline. Photo: Climate Adaptation UNDP via Exposure
Evidence of a receding coastline. Photo: Climate Adaptation UNDP via Exposure

Tunisia’s coastal zone teems with life. It is a densely populated area, with most of the country’s large cities, and two-thirds of its people. With its varied topography and an irregular 1,445km of continental coastline extended from the North to the East, plus 450km of island coastline, the coastal zone is a vital habitat for both humans and marine biodiversity.

The coastal zone also plays a pivotal role in the country’s development. The diverse coastal environment powers more than 80% of the country’s economic activities, houses 90% of its tourism infrastructure, and is the site of a major share of the nation’s irrigated agriculture.

However, a lack of capacity to deal with the impacts of climate change in coastal zones represents a significant risk. Innovative adaptation strategies are needed to proactively address the risks posed by climate change on populations and key socio-economic sectors in Tunisia’s most vulnerable coastal areas.

In response to these issues, the Government of Tunisia identified sea level rise and coastal development as a top priority for adaptation action.

Established in 1995, Tunisia's Coastal Protection and Planning Agency has responsibility for coastal protection in general and the protection of the Maritime Public Domain. Its mission is to manage coastal areas and to ensure their compliance with national and international rules and standards, and to conduct studies and research on coastal change and the evolution of coastal ecosystems.