National Workshop on Water Resources Management in a Changing Climate in Tunisia

Sep 29, 2016 to Sep 30, 2016
Gammarth, Tunisia

The Regional Environmental Center (REC) held a national workshop titled “Water Resources Management in a Changing Climate” on September 29–30, 2016, in Gammarth, Tunisia.

This workshop was organised in the framework of the WATER SUM project, and it gathered national and regional-level representatives from various technical sectors of the Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources and Fisheries, as well as researchers, professionals, and experts dealing with water and climate change issues within other Tunisian institutions.

Ms. Hayet Ben Mansour – Deputy Director of the General Directorate of Water Resources (DGRE) at the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries – opened the event. She thanked the WATER SUM team for organizing the workshop and for developing its well-rounded agenda. Ms. Mansour also encouraged the Tunisian participants to be actively engaged in the works and to contribute with their national expertise and knowledge to the practices and case studies presented over the two-day-long event. 

The workshop’s second session provided an overview of climate change issues in Tunisia, with a closer focus on recent climate trends, as well as a summary of the country’s National Report on Climate Change. Ms. Sahla Mezghani then introduced the Task Force on Climate Change, a body set up within the Ministry of Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources and Fisheries that pulls together representatives from the ministry’s different units to act as the single reference body for all matters related to climate change.

In the second part of this session, Tunisian and international experts presented the current status of drought management in Tunisia and international examples on how other countries cope with water-related extremes. 

The third session focused on a more specific analysis of the existing practice framework concerning climate change issues in Tunisia. This session led to a vibrant discussion among the participants, leading to better understanding of the national strategies yoking water and climate change. It also generated an interactive exchange on how to improve the visibility and enhance the coordination of future synergies on climate change issues.

The day’s final session centred on fostering dialogue and cooperation among existing institutions. The participants, divided into three groups, were asked to confront each other and to discuss ideas on how to manage and improve knowledge and information sharing of water-related adaptation measures in Tunisia—both between different institutions within single institutions. Main outcomes of the discussion include putting a stronger accent on developing the staff’s “soft skills”, such as communication, alongside the technical skills; supporting awareness-raising efforts and social sciences approaches to water and climate change adaptation connections; and developing online tools that facilitate networking and dialogue between the different water actors.  


Day two of the workshop introduced tools, instruments and case studies on monitoring and detecting climate change effects in the MENA region, as well as other areas with similarly diverse hydro-meteorological and climatic conditions. The participants took advantage of the working sessions’ hands-on approach and learned how to use the Flood and Drought Portal ( to facilitate the inclusion of information about floods and droughts and future scenarios into integrated water resources management (IWRM) planning, water safety planning (WSP), transboundary diagnostic analyses (TDA) and strategic action plans (SAP).

As the workshop wound down, the participants engaged in an interactive exercise that led them to understand and convert different sources of satellite data linked to the Medjerda River Basin, and to use this crunched data in a planning context.

All of the participants praised the structure of the workshop, which brought in a purposeful balance between theoretical and practical sessions, and underlined the necessity for Tunisia to continue exploring the interlinkages between water management and climate change adaptation tools and solutions. Moreover, a few of the practitioners who participated in this workshop will be invited to join the next “National Workshop on Overall Guiding Principle Concerning Flood Risk Management and Adaptation”, scheduled to take place on October 18 in Tunisia.

Overarching key messages of this workshop include:

  • Combining the use of national knowledge and international experiences can lead to effective and smart solutions for mitigation against  impacts of climate change;
  • Adaptation and resilience building has to be supported by full understanding of the present and future possible processes; and
  • Embracing a holistic approach, including socio-economic relations, helps to better understand the full picture of the impact of climate change, leading to wiser decisions on mitigation and adaptation challenges.

A bespoke, similar national workshop on Water Resources Management in a Changing Climate is planned for October 24–25 in Jordan

Photo gallery of the “Water Resources Management in a Changing Climate” workshop in Tunisia

Tags: Training