Mustapha Tlili described the characteristics of the
Arab Maghreb and highlighted a number of UMA programmes currently
underway, including fixing dunes by planting trees, conducting
campaigns to prevent landslides, and improving rangelands through
seeding. The methodology used to implement these projects
includes: incorporating the participation of the grassroots and
the army; consolidating legislation to protect the environment;
and developing programs to protect threatened areas. He stressed
the need for regional cooperation and added that the Maghreb must
realize its interdependence with Europe and the two regions must
work together to combat desertification.
Kallala Abdessalem of the Tunisian Ministry of the Environment
and Land Management highlighted characteristics of
desertification in Tunisia. He mentioned that projects must be
cost-effective or else they will not be acceptable to peasants.
He said that desertification is an economic problem and there is
a need to involve the people, including women, in combatting
desertification. He concluded by pointing out that
desertification should be seen as something to bring the North
and South together.