CLIMA organised Environmental Festival “Only One Earth” in Tunisia


CLIMA project co-organised the first Environmental Festival of Mahdia and Rejiche. The festival used the theme Only One Earth to join the struggled launched for the World Environmental Day 2022. Several activities have been implemented in the beautiful Tunisian cities of Mahdia and Rejiche on the 18th and 19th of June.

“We are glad to have contributed to the organisation of the first Environmental Festival of Mahdia and Rajiche, that was able to mobilise a platform of private and public institutions engaged in fighting the climate change and the environmental challenges in general” declared Valerio Baldissara, coordinator of CLIMA project.

Around 12 organisations active both at a national and a local level mobilised over 100 volunteers for the activities that took place in the municipal park of Rejiche, on the seaside and in a natural reserve of Mahdia. Around 500 people participated to the proposed activities, including a lot of youth and children.

During morning of the first day the festival had as a main target the younger public, involving over 60 children in environmental challenges and educational workshops such as on how recycle and upcycle unused materials into artistic activities, avoiding that this material could became waste. The children were exposed to a variety of inputs, discovering creative ways to reuse and valorise potential waste, inventing slogans to protect the environment, and discovering the richness of the underwater life of their land. 

The evening of the second day aimed to raise the adult public sensibility regarding key environmental issues of Tunisia, such as the impact of the climate change on the fishermen on Kerkenah and the connection between local traditions and the environmental disaster happening in the golf of Gabes, one of the most polluted on the Mediterranean cost. A talk on the key environmental issues of the region was animated on the beach of Mahdia, and later three documentaries, selected among the ones presented at the locally renowned Gabes Film festival, were showed on the beach in a magic atmosphere.

Sunday morning, a group of volunteers were engaged in a CleanUP activity on the beach of Mahdia, while 25 people took part in a 20 km bike tour leading to a natural reserve, the so-called humid zone located at the entrance of Mahdia. This was an occasion for most of the people involved to discover a largely unknown area of the region, rich of beauty and biodiversity unveiled by the proposed ecotour. 

Along with talks and workshops, the festival saw the participation of four innovative locally -based start-ups born thanks to CLIMA project subgrants. All of them are active in the circular economy branch and support reuse and valorisation of waste. Namely, they were a food delivery startup by bike, a small firm that creates new clothes from old ones, a startup that reuse old solar panels to build new things and, at last, one that produces cloth protection bags for plants instead of the plastic ones widely used worldwide.

The three days festival gave Mahdia the occasion to host an event where public and private subjects were actively involved in the process of spreading awareness aiming different targets, both at a generational and a social level. In fact, this first edition of the Environmental Festival saw the participation of public administrations and institutions, internationally active ngos such as WWF, innovative companies, adults and teens altogether to learn more about sustainability and climate change. This was a precious occasion for CLIMA project to implement its network at many levels while promoting itself through entairtainment, Mahdia's beautiful landscapes and the richness of its territory. 

This festival shows us how active are our civil society and institutions on environmental issues. We consider this festival as an important initiative boosting future actions aiming at alleviate climate change in the region of Mahdia and in Tunisia in general.