Tunisia’s remaining forest cover is critically important to the Mediterranean ecosystem and plays an important role in climate mitigation.  However, as in many countries, Tunisia’s state forest boundaries are unclear, and encroachment has become a major challenge. A comprehensive 2016 assessment of the tenure regime, supported by the UN-REDD Programme, estimated that more than 500,000 hectares, or about half of the forest estate, are threatened. 

 Guided by the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT), Tunisia's Directorate-General for Forestry (DGF) implemented a pilot activity to map forest boundaries and record overlapping land claims in Siliana Governorate as a first step towards resolving claims and preventing further forest conversion. In consultation with regional government departments and local land claimants, forest boundaries were accurately marked using a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) while FAO’s tablet-based tool Open Tenure was used to survey and map land claims along state forest boundaries.  The DGF will formally recommend regularisation of land claims as long as farmers agree not to expand cultivation into the forest estate. This experience suggests that resolving land tenure claims and clarifying forest boundaries need not be divisive and that mutually agreeable solutions are possible with a consultative and responsible approach.  Addressing tenure issues is also consistent with Tunisia’s nationally determined contribution to mitigate climate change whereby it has pledged to increase its carbon reserves in forest and pastoral environments.

Read full article and see slideshow here: http://www.fao.org/redd/news/detail/en/c/1073137/

For more information, contact Amanda Bradley, REDD+ Tenure Specialist, FAO, at e-mail: