Lake in Tunisia gains international recognition

Garâa Sejenane Lake was added to the List of Wetlands of International Importance. It is home to several endangered species.

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São Paulo – Tunisia’s Garâa Sejenane Lake was added to the List of Wetlands of International Importance, Tunis Afrique Press (TAP) agency reported on Thursday, 1st. The Ramsar list includes wetlands recognized as being of significant value not only for the country or the countries in which they are located but for humanity as a whole.

There are currently more than 2,400 Ramsar sites covering over 2.5 million square kilometers, the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance reports in its website. The Tunisian lake is 2447 on the list. Tunisia has other barrages, lagoons, lakes and reserves on the List of Wetlands of International Importance.

According to TAP, Garâa Sejenane is found at 110 meters above sea level in the Mogod Mountains in the north-west of Tunisia. At 1,500 hectares, it is the largest natural freshwater wetland in the country. Garâa Sejenane is privately owned and collectively managed by the Groupement de Développement Agricole representing the landowners, the municipality and the local delegation.

This lake was drained in the 1950s, leading to the extinction of species, but the site retains a great wealth of water plants. There are several threatened species, such as the only population in the world of Rumex tunetanus, the world’s largest population of the fern Pilularia minuta, which is endemic to the Mediterranean region, and the largest population in North Africa of Elatine macropoda. In addition, the site is home to Pleurodeles nebulosus, an amphibian which is endemic to Algeria and Tunisia.

The inclusion of a wetland in the list embodies the government’s commitment to take the steps necessary to ensure that its ecological character is maintained. According to a press release published by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the integration of this site to the Ramsar Convention is the fruit of a collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries, the General Directorate of Forests, and WWF Tunisia.

Translated by Guilherme Miranda

TAP

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