On 25 May 2019 Exploralis organized an opening meeting in which it announced the official launching of the second phase of the Project MED’EX. A project supported by the small scale initiatives for civil society organizations in North Africa PPI-OSCAN I. Set up by the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation and funded by the MAVA foundation and the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM). Arafat Ben Marzou, the executive director of Exploralis, took us in an adventure through the timeline of the organization since its foundation, passing by the various organized events and projects, through the previous 5 years to the present day. Followed by the scientific team of Exploralis that highlighted the most noteworthy results concerning the biodiversity of Bechouk Region they’ve came out within the first phase of the project. Notably, as Mr. Ridha Ouni, the scientific coordinator of the project described, how the studied wetland is considered as a hotspot for birds and its relevance for many migratory species. The showcase of the results was accompanied by a short documentary illustrating the different scientific expeditions organized in the last 2 years.
An initiation to the second phase of the project was carried out through an emphasize on the usefulness of the establishment of a biodiversity observatory and the assimilation of bio-indicators on the forthcoming studies to assure a long lasting understanding and monitoring of this particular ecosystem. The attainment of these goals will be reinforced by the engagement of Exploralis’ partners; The Faculty of Science of Tunis (FST), the Tunisian Association for Wildlife (ATVS) and the research laboratory of Biogeography, Applied Climatology and Dynamic Erosive (BICADE), that demonstrated each its input to the project. “Despite the substantial effort that was made in the first phase of the project and despite the extraordinary biodiversity we’ve identified, there still some remote places and inland islands we didn’t reach yet and it is of great importance to investigate the fauna in these Isola” explained Wael Ben Aba, the president of the Tunisian Association for Wildlife.
A considerable number of environmental activists, local associations’ representatives and experts have assisted to the opening event. It’s also important to mention as well that the governmental regional directions, implicated in one way or another in the environmental field, such as ANPE, DRMALE … showed an immense interest in the project by declaring their support and emphasizing the value of the project for the region.