In the framework of the Mediterranean wetland project of the MAVA Foundation, PAP/RAC supported the organisation of a local celebration of the Coast Day in Ghar El Melah, Tunisia, on 26 September 2017. The area of Ghar El Melah has been selected as a pilot site for this regional initiative, where PAP/RAC will have a leading role in defining an Integrated coastal resources management plan, alongside with the GWP-Med. The project implementation will last 3 years, with a possible extension for the following three years. PAP/RAC and WWF North Africa organised the event in cooperation with the Tunisian Coastal Agency (APAL), and under the auspices of the Governor of the Bizerte Region. The major stakeholders of the area gathered and shared their vision of and expectations from the sustainable development of the area. In addition, the local inhabitants and NGOs joined the debates, including the local fishermen and urban planners. This event was a great and live illustration of what the Coast Day was all about for the MAVA partners, who will have the opportunity to organise such events in the coming years. At the same time, it was a good starting point for the MedWet overarching communication campaign.
Indeed, after the institutional presentations and the discussions, the partners visited the wetland centre of Ghar El Melah, located in the fort dating back to Ottoman times and being under UNESCO’s protection. Welcomed by the pupils of one of the local schools, the partners had a chance to discover the local handcrafting. The kids were one of the key attractions, and the 1st channel of the National Tunisian TV that followed the entire event, did not miss a part in the actions they undertook that day, especially the cleaning activities in the old harbour of the city. Also, a field trip around the project area was organized for the MAVA partners.