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Group discussion TunisiaFrom 1-2 March almost 100 Tunisians gathered in the coastal town of Hammamet to review and discuss the results of almost one year of work towards building the country’s REDD+ strategy.  Teams of government officers and consultants focused on three major areas:  land tenure, national forest monitoring systems and institutional arrangements.  Over the past year, the teams raised awareness on REDD+ and collected and analyzed data from existing literature and from interviews and consultations with a range of stakeholders.  They also visited the regions to see the reality on the ground in order to identify the needs at all levels – local, regional and national.

Tunisia’s forests, while relatively small in terms of land cover (6.5%), are a vital source of livelihoods for close to one million inhabitants and provide important hydrological functions and biodiversity benefits in the Mediterranean ecoregion. 

REDD+ is a rallying point to bring together policymakers, technical government staff, civil society, researchers, and others to develop a strategy to manage these remaining forests sustainably.  The conclusions and recommendations from UN-REDD Programme supported analyses will form the basis for developing Tunisia’s REDD+ National Strategy, which the country aims to have in place by the end of 2016.  Good sources for further information on Tunisia’s progress in REDD+ are Radio Oxygene’s recent programs (in Arabic) and the Tunisia REDD+ Facebook group.