Regional Action Plan against Desertification (PARLCD)

Level: National
Region: MENA Region
Tags: Capacity building & knowledge transfer | Planning & Policy | Stakeholder involvement
Target audience: Agricultural authorities | Environmental authorities | Farmers | Local government/municipalities | NGOs and CSOs

The Governorate of Kasserine was chosen as a priority area for the UNCCD, responding to requirements for involvement of the local population in the choice of development activities and project ownership by the beneficiaries. 

The project enhanced the partnership role of local development NGOs, who provided technical and organisational assistance, and helped in implementing pilot project actions. 

This approach, which focused on engaging beneficiaries and public administration through a partnership with local NGOs, was the highlight of the project. 

Moreover, paramount importance was given to the role of rural women as a crucial actor in the co-management of income-generating activities and management of natural resources. 

This project provided procurement and delivery of 70 litres per animal traction with a capacity of 500 litres for the benefit of 70 households (560 individual beneficiaries). It also enabled the construction of four rainwater collection basins with a capacity of 100 m3 in different douars (villages). The activity mobilised 400 m3 of rainwater for the irrigation of 80 hectares.

Results obtained

  • The project, structured into two components, emphasised education, training, information and knowledge sharing related to the fight against desertification and sustainable local development. The two components were:
  • strengthening institutional mechanisms and capacities of actors in the fight against desertification; and
  • support for the implementation of the regional action plan against desertification (Kasserine) through priority actions for the sustainable management of natural resources in the El-Brek sector and improving the living conditions of the local population, while taking a gender-focused approach.
  • The latter component highlighted the roles of men and women in the socioeconomic organisation of the intervention area and the relationship between these two categories of actors—and, in some cases, the adoption of positive discrimination in favour of women in supporting income-generating activities, and with a view to reducing imbalances sometimes imposed by standards and social and cultural practices acquired.

Success factors

  • The project’s local-level intervention strategy was based on two pillars: natural resources management, and community development.
  • The conservation and protection of natural resources can only be achieved if other economic alternatives to the exploitation of these resources are available to people. The project demonstrated that the involvement of the population increases with the combination of activities whose benefits are felt and visible in the short term, (such as income-generating activities) and through activities that, hopefully, can continue to generate medium and long-term benefits as well.

Indicators used

  •   Reduced pressure on natural resources (supply of alternative energy sources to forest products).
  •   Reduced land degradation (soil and water conservation work, tree planting).
  •   Reduced vulnerability of populations to lack of water (water-mobilisation works, storage tanks).
  •  Creation of additional sources of income, especially through the provision of revolving, interest-free credits
  •  Promotion of traditional and skills and crafts.

    Provision of environmental education for children through schoolyard   beautification (olive groves), and improved hygiene and security (fence construction) for schools. 

The project aimed to improve well-being of women by enabling them to benefit from all the activities undertaken.

Several results achieved could continue beyond the life of the project, such as tree plantations, water conservation and soil conservation works (18 years), and water mobilization works, but follow-up interviews will be required to evaluate the results. This is also the case for regarding awareness and knowledge gained in the fight against desertification, and the design and implementation of participatory approaches in development programmes.

Total costs

  • USD 708,527.40


PNUD: Ms Jihene Touil
Environment and Energy Programme Associate
Tel.: +216 71 904 011 Ext. 132 Fax: +216 71 900 668 

DGEQV (Ministry of environment, Tunisia): Mr. Hamda Aloui
National Project Director
National Focal Point for the Fight against Desertification
Tel.: +216 70 728 679 Ext. 252 Fax: +216 70 728 595
Email :