Coastline of the Cap Négro-Cap Serrat MPA in Tunisia rel=
Coastline of the Cap Négro-Cap Serrat MPA in Tunisia
© E. Parker - WWF Mediterranean

Creation of the MCPA of Cap Négro-Cap Serrat

The pilot project in Tunisia aims to establish an effective management unit for the Cap Négro-Cap Serrat MPA in the Kroumirie-Mogods region (northwest Tunisia), and ensure the financial framework to sustainably manage this area.

While awaiting the official declaration of the area of Cap Négro-Cap Serrat as a Marine and Coastal Protected Area (MCPA) under Tunisian legislation, the pilot project is building on the results of the SMAP III Tunisia project within the framework of which an integrated coastal zone management plan for the Kroumirie-Mogods region was developed. During the planning process a MCPA was identified and a preliminary management plan for this area was developed.

Joining forces for sustainable MPAs

As in other North African countries, the lack of an adequate legal framework to regulate the designation and protection of MPAs in Tunisia has so far hampered their effective implementation. In 2009, a law on Marine and Coastal Protected Areas in Tunisia was approved and in the near future a number of MPAs will be gazetted, including Cap Négro-Cap Serrat.

Most Tunisian MPAs are islands and archipelagos, despite growing pressure on coastal areas. Moreover, the existing MPAs rely heavily on foreign funds for their management and are still without a clear division of responsibilities between ministries and administrations for the management of their marine and coastal zones.

As Cap Négro-Cap Serrat includes both terrestrial and marine areas, the project partners with the coastal, forestry and agriculture institutions of the country (APAL, DGF and CRDA of Beja). Yet, the local coordination of the pilot project is entrusted to the Tunis office of WWF Mediterranean which is assisting the authorities in setting up the future MCPA. Special attention is given to the development of a business plan and the identification of the most appropriate mechanisms for the long-term financing of the Cap Négro MCPA, to move away from dependence on foreign aid funds. In addition, the project is building the capacity of the MCPA management unit and ensuring the integration of Cap Négro-Cap Serrat into the national strategy of APAL for the creation of a Tunisian system of MPAs.