Blue economy, Coastline without Plastic strategy to meet environment priorities

Tunis: The roadmap on blue economy and the Coastline without Plastic strategy were devised, with the support of the World Bank, to meet the challenges and priorities set by Tunisia and the United Nations, said Minister of Environment Leila Chikhaoui.

Both are premised on a wealth and job-generating economy which guarantees environmental balance and social inclusion of target populations.

The minister was speaking Monday at a workship in Tunis on the theme: ” Launch of Synthesis Document of the Roadmap on Blue Economy and the Coastline without Plastic Strategy.”

She said the aim is to face up a triple environmental crisis triggered by climate change, loss of biodiversity and pollution.

The operational roadmap sets up 11 areas of priority investment, 31 long-term objectives and 35 priority actions. These areas cover mainly tourism (spa tourism, ecotourism…), fisheries and aquaculture and the fight against plastic pollution.

The implementation of priority actions, the minister said, will be funded by the St
ate budget and the contribution of the private sector and technical and financial parteners, as was the case for the pilot project of Kerkennah ecological transition

which would facilitate the implementation of the blue economy roadmap and the afore-mentioned strategy.

Tunisia has undertaken since 2019/20, as part of cooperation with the WB, to draw up the blue economy strategy which revolves around the protection of the maritime and coastal space so as to foster sustainable economic growth, said Director General of Environnement and Quality of Life at the Ministry of Environment Hédi Chebili.

A participatory approach was embraced involving all ministries, civil society and the private sector, he further said. The strategy is expected to be implemented immediately by all stakeholders.

Alexandre Arrobbio, the WB Resident Representative in Tunisia, said blue economy shows significant potential for the country wit a 14% contribution to the GDP and 500,000 jobs, including 13% for spa tourism.

The two strateg
ies will help invest in economic development and environment risk management, he said. The bank is ready to support Tunisia which had already requsted technical support.

Director of Quality of Life at the Ministry of Environment Awatef Messai said the Coastline without Plastic strategy helped define five strategic objectives, namely governance, financing, plastic waste management, innovation and research and awareness; this in addition to operational objectives. The strategy, she said, includes 68 measures and 34 with projects, including 17 priority ones.

Pilot actions mainly include reduced usage of plastic in hotels, putting nets in streams to minimise the movement of plastic to the sea, doing away with illegal dumps and selective waste sorting.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse