Tunisia: MED4EBM project launches pilot activities in the natural reserve of Kneiss Islands


On Thursday 26th November 2020, the National Institute of Marine Sciences and Technologies (INSTM), MED4EBM Tunisian partner, organized a press conference in Sfax to launch the project activities in the natural reserve of Kneiss Islands. The natural reserve is located in in the Gulf of Gabès, in the south-eastern Mediterranean and since December 1993 Kneiss archipelago has been classified as a "Nature Reserve", in the application of Chapter III of the Tunisian Forest Code, under the management of the General Directorate of Forestry (DGF) at Ministry of Agriculture. The MED4EBM project aims to tackle issues, to develop and apply a common methodology to make ecosystem-based Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) much easier to design and implement by applying innovative techniques and methods. The project activities will mainly focus on awareness events and training that will target the local communities, decision makers, scientists, fishermen, students, and women groups. 

Ms. Samira Rafrafi, the representative of the National Contact Point of the ENI CBC MED Programme attended the conference remotely presenting an overview of the Programme and the selected Tunisian projects.

The head of INSTM, Mr. Hechmi Misssaoui participated remotely at the press conference and highlighted INSTM’s experience in implementing international projects and the importance of EU financed projects for INSTM research.

The project coordinator, Dr Amel Bellaaj Zouari, presented the main objectives and deliverables of MED4EBM project and the way INSTM will lead the project activities in Kneiss Islands.
INSTM is pleased that Mr. Ali Chaouechi, mayor of Ghrayba, Mr. Abduli Sofien the commissioner of Gharyba and Mr. Haffouz Foued, commissioner of Mahrès, expressed their interest and support to integrate MED4EBM project in Kneiss Islands as they are committed to helping in the project execution.

Mr. Fethi Zrida, regional representative of tourism in Sfax, focused on the importance of the ecosystem-based management which will be implemented through MED4EBM and will help in the promotion of ecotourism in the Kneiss Islands.

About the MED4EBM project

MED4EBM aims at providing relevant institutions and stakeholders with a set of innovative tools to overcome the main factors limiting the widespread incorporation of Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) into Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM). These tools include an operational protocol and a software package to make ecosystem-based ICZM much easier to apply for the professional team, the stakeholders and the decision-makers involved. The said protocol is capable of handling the ICZM multi-stakeholders analytical processes through a straight-forward path, providing analytical methods and tools easy-to-apply as based on deterministic rather than statistical ecological and socio-economic assessments. Governments and other ICZM stakeholders can use this platform to take informed decisions on planning and managing coastal-marine resources to achieve ICZM on the ground. In turn, this will help wide-spreading EBM in the Mediterranean consistently with the Barcelona Convention and its ICZM Protocol. MED4EBM is implemented in partnership between six organizations, two from Jordan, UNDP which is the Lead Beneficiary and the Royal Marine Conservation Society of Jordan, two from Italy (PROGES Planning and Development Consulting and Associazione Amici della Terra), the National Institute of Marine Sciences and Technologies from Tunisia and the Tyre Coast Nature Reserve from Lebanon.