Tunis/Tunisia — Nearly 53% of lands in Tunisia are vulnerable to a very high degree of desertification against 40% with medium vulnerability and 7% with low vulnerability, according to the Ministry of Local Affairs and Environment.
The department affirmed in Tunisia's declaration on the occasion of the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, observed on June 17, that Tunisia undertakes in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, to restore 2.2 million hectares of degraded lands as a target set for the year 2030, an area that is increasingly degraded during the last decade, despite commendable efforts at the national level.
This objective was set under a National Action Programme to Combat Desertification for the period 2018-2030, which is in line with the various national sectoral strategies related to water resources, forests, biodiversity and climate change, which were recently approved by the National Council for Combating Desertification.
Desertification is defined as land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry semi-humid areas, caused primarily by human activities and climatic variations.
According to statistics and the latest studies, the degraded areas in the world are estimated at 4.18 million square kilometres per year, with a difference in the degree of vulnerability and risks between different areas.
Experts and politicians considered the period 2020-2030 as the United Nations decade to recover the ecological system as it represents a real opportunity to better rebuild it, calling on all countries to recover about 800 million hectares by 2030.
The 2021 Desertification and Drought Day focused on turning degraded land into healthy land. Restoring degraded land brings economic resilience, creates jobs, raises incomes and increases food security. It helps biodiversity to recover. It locks away the atmospheric carbon warming the Earth, slowing climate change.