The only North African country in the BIODEV2030 project, Tunisia has a wealth of biodiversity, both on land and at sea. Bordering both the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea, the country is characterised by the diversity of its natural landscapes, ecosystems and habitats. No less than 3,100 plant taxa have been identified, including 200 endemic species common to neighbouring countries in the region. Tunisia has seven major ecosystems with rich biological diversity, home to over 7,500 species: 3,800 species of land-based fauna and flora and 3,700 marine species.
Tunisia has created 17 national parks, 27 nature reserves and 4 wildlife reserves to protect the country’s biodiversity.
The biological diversity of Tunisia is also reflected in the fact that it has 42 wetlands of international importance, as recognised under the Ramsar Convention. These account for 5.5% of the total surface area of the country. These ecosystems provide numerous ecosystem services, particularly in terms of water management:
- Groundwater recharge
- Water quality and purification
- Soil infiltration
- Flood control
However, since the 19th century, the environment in Tunisia has been subject to heavy human intervention: overuse of resources, poor regulation of illegal and damaging activities, and a lack of planning and coordination to protect biodiversity. This is resulting in significant biodiversity loss (drying out of groundwater, land clearing for agriculture, eutrophication, etc.).