25. Integrated management of the reforestation approach – Combining reforestation and community development

1. Approach’s Outline and Features

This is an integrated reforestation approach, combining technical components, such as tree-planting, with socioeconomic components, like improving livelihoods.

  • The integrated management approach in the forestry development sector in Tunisia was standardized in the Project.
  • The integrated management approach combines technical and socioeconomic development components to improve the living conditions of local residents in forest zones, aiming to ease their pressures on natural resources and manage forests more sustainably.
  • The Agricultural Development Group (ADG), comprising local community forest users,  was established and collaborated with agricultural agencies and NGOs to take account of residents’ needs and ensure they are reflected in the Community Development Plan (CDP).

Reforestation, Community Development, Livelihood Improvement, Integrated Management, Tree Planting, Non-Timber Forest Product

2. Description of the project from which the approach is derived

2-1. Introduction

The forest area in Tunisia decreased from 1.25 million hectares at the beginning of the 20th century to 368,000 hectares in the mid-1950s. Therefore, reforestation had to be further promoted with the need to prevent soil erosion and conserve the natural environment in mind. The Project aimed to prevent soil erosion, increase the forest area and improve socioeconomic conditions and the natural environment through reforestation and regional development in the four regions of northwestern Tunisia.

Afforestation area in North-western Tunisia
(Source: JICA)

2-2. Details of the measures taken

This integrated management approach was standardized for the forestry development sector in Tunisia by combining technical and socioeconomic development components, as part of efforts to ease the pressure on natural resources by improving the living conditions of local residents in forest zones. The socioeconomic component included the establishment of 13 Agricultural Development Groups, each of which formulated a Community Development Plan (CDP) in a participatory manner, while the Project supported the realization of the CDP. This was a strategy to manage the forest more sustainably by diversifying and improving residents’ income through socioeconomic development and easing the pressure on the natural environment.

Technical components

Sub-componentsMain ActivitiesAchievement
A. Forest infrastructure developmentA1: Forest road construction
A2: Forest road maintenance
A3: Firebreak construction
A4: Firebreak maintenence
A5: Forest officer station construction
A6: Forest officer station maintenance
A7: Fire watch tower construction
A8: Fire watch tower maintenance
A9: Construction of water reservoir tank,
and others
A1: 106 km
A2: 155.5km
A3: 91
A4: 1,111.5km
A5: 6
A6: 15
A7: 8
A8: 10
A9: 24
B. Forestry improvementForest management of pine (B1), cork oak (B2) and accasia (B3) stand; Assisted natural regeneration (B4 Pine/ B5 cork oak); improvement of plant health (B6) and othersB1: 9,002 ha
B2: 1,911 ha
B3: 2031 ha
B4: 6,963 ha
B5: 320 ha
B6: 11,500 ha
C. Forest ecosystem rehabilitationForestry plantations; plantation on wadi banks; reservoir protection; pastoral planting; seed orchards management; modernization of nurseries; nature reserves management5,915 ha
D. Soil and water conservationSoil and water conservation (terrace construction; gully control (gabion); protection of lake (reservoir)6,306 ha
E. Forest-related researchTechnical guide for reforestation in Tunisia; Strategic research for sustainable development of cork oak forests; Guide for the Community Development Plan Development and Implementation and others13 themes,
Seven seminars, etc.

Socioeconomic components

Sub-componentsMain activitiesAchievement
Socioeconomic development,Establishment of the ADG, Development of the Community Development Plan (CDP), with the livelihood improvement program such as water point development; live fence creation; fruit tree plantation; construction of training centers; creation of small-scale nurseries; improved cook stoves; livestock farming, beekeeping, vegetable and fruit tree cultivation and trail road development・13 ADGs were established, each of which developed its CDP.
・14 water points were developed.
・Live fence: 2,965 haFruit tree plantation: 1,566 haSeven training centersTwo nurseries30.2 km of trail road constructed and maintained
Community awareness program
(Source: JICA)
Community awareness program
(Source: JICA)
Pasture restauration project
(Source : JICA)

Beekeeping training in Nefza
(Source: JICA)

(Perspectives on sustainability)

  • The Agricultural Development Group (ADG) was established and collaborated with agricultural agencies and NGOs to take account of residents’ needs and reflect them in their Community Development Plan (CDP). The ADG is a community-based organization comprising forest users. Each ADG developed its development plan based on its needs and cooperating related governmental technical agencies such as an agricultural office.

3. Analysis of the approach

3-1. Impact

  • Including the socioeconomic component has reduced residents’ pressure on forest resources. (89% of the respondents in the beneficiary survey answered that the natural environment had improved)
  • It is acknowledged that developing forest firefighting infrastructure (i.e. fire breaks and watchtowers) helped reduce the spread of forest fires.
  • The volume of illegal logging incidents in the Project area decreased from 2,298 cases in 2002 to 1,703 cases in 2007.
  • Tunisia’s forest area increased from 959,000 ha in 2000 to 1,200,000 ha in 2007. Of the increased 241,000 ha, the Project contributed 2.5%. The total area planted by the Project was 5,915 ha.

3-2. Lessons learned

  • The integrated approach clearly improved the population’s living conditions: they confirmed that their activities had diversified and their incomes had increased.
  • In projects that adopt “integrated management”, it is expected that activity proposals exceeding the original functional scope of the implementing agency will emerge. Accordingly, there is a need to build a system capable of cooperating with other stakeholders within the executing agency.

4. Relevant information

NbS Approach Category3-6. 25
Title of the project from which the approach is derivedIntegrated Reforestation Project / Projet de Gestion Intégré des Forêts (TS-P20)
CountryRepublic of Tunisia
BiomeMediterranean forest/woodland, arid and semi-arid forest/woodland
Implementing term2000-2007
Implementing organizationsJapan Forest Technology Association (JAFTA)
Oriental Consultants Global (OCG)
Supporting organizations・Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
・PCI (Oriental Consultants Global Co., Ltd.) – ExA Consult – Japan Forest Technology Association
Report/Tool/Guideline・Reforestation Guide
・Development and Implementation Guide for the Community Development Plan
Ex-post evaluation of JICA ODA loan project “Integrated Reforestation Project.”
Contributors to this articleTEJIMA Shigeharu /Oriental Consultants Global Co., Ltd.