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Improving National Capacities in Observation and Management of Marine Environment in Tunisia

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Tunisia and marine environment research

Tunisia’s National Institute of Marine Sciences and Technologies (INSTM) has gained international recognition with the help of an EU-funded initiative.

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The INCOMMET (Improving national capacities in observation and management of marine environment in Tunisia) project strengthened the partnership between EU and Tunisian research into the marine environment. The initiative also facilitated participation in the European Research Area (ERA) and the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). Coordination of the project was carried out by INSTM, the country's main research institution for oceanography and marine environments. Training courses, workshops, twinning and visits targeting INSTM staff and students were conducted in order to build up scientific and technological capacity. Activities carried out by INCOMMET addressed environmental problems facing Tunisia as well as those of a global nature such as climate change and the loss of biodiversity. Project partners analysed the current state of knowledge in Tunisia regarding marine research, particularly in relation to the Gulf of Gabés. INSTM also worked with the consortium in designing an international mixed laboratory and expand on a common EU research programme. An assessment of INSTM's strengths and weaknesses was made by external experts from Canada and France. The need for INSTM to redefine its strategy, particularly with regard to governance and scientific supervision was addressed. The institute is also committed to improving its capacity to promote the sustainable development and management of Tunisia's marine environment and natural resources. The international profile of INSTM was heightened by strengthening communication and dissemination through a public website and through the production of leaflets and scientific DVDs and local conferences aimed at socioeconomic partners and stakeholders. An international conference was also held. INCOMMET will therefore enhance the authority of INSTM in advising regional and national policymakers and stakeholders, and promote the sustainable development of the Tunisian marine environment and management of its natural resources.


Marine environment research, oceanography, environmental problems, sustainable development

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