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SwitchMed strengthens key economic sectors in the Mediterranean

Learn more on the development of the demonstration activities in Algeria and Tunisia in the textile and tourism sectors.
Published on Dec 12, 2017

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In each partner country, SwitchMed's activities include developing pilot projects promoting sustainable consumption and production practices and implement circular economy measures in the priority sectors previously selected by the target countries.

The selected demonstration activities will contribute both to the implementation of national policies on sustainable consumption and production in the Mediterranean and the Regional Action Plan on Consumption and Sustainable Production, which was adopted during the Conference of the Parties to the Barcelona Convention (COP19) for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against the Pollution held on 9-12 February 2016 in Athens (Greece). 

 The demonstration activities are being successfully developed and they are certainly helping the region to shift towards sustainable consumption and production patterns, long-term sustainability, circular economy and new paradigms in the use of resources. As example, the pilot project ¨Upcycling in Algeria: Making quilts while improving product design¨ aims  to support the textile company "Atelier le Printemps" recovering and reusing fabrics coming mainly from used bedding but also from other sources in order to achieve more circular and inclusive business. Improving their product design and through textile design and acquiring techniques to print the fabrics with natural dyes were key priorities for them, thus a seven days training workshop was organised by SCP/RAC. To this end, the managers of Atelier Printemp, Anis Ouazene and Nardjess flew to Barcelona to receive hand-ontechnical training to learn how to better upcycle and dye textile fabrics. The concept of eco-design was clearly addressed too.The workshop that was held from 23-28 October 2017 has strengthened their business project, which now recycles and upcycles 50 kg of textile waste per week. For a quick-glance of the workshop please click below. 


Another example is Tunisia. As tourism is one of the two priority sectors agreed in the National Action Plan for sustainable production and consumption, SwitchMed with the collaboration of the Tunisian Ministry of Environment is currently developing two projects: Dar Zaghouan and Tunisia Ecotourism.

Dar Zaghouan, an eco-chalet in Tunisia including a farm of 3 hectares, is devoted to obtain an eco-label and to implement circular economy measures taking into consideration resource efficiency (energy, water and waste streams). SwitchMed is also supporting this project in accessing funds to ensure the necessary investments in the facilities in accordance with the recommendations of the technical reports for resource management efficiency.

 Tunisia Ecotourism is a sustainable tourism agency founded in 2015 in Bizerte. The project aims to support the agency in improving their database of ecotourism stakeholders in Tunisia, as well as developing specific offers of ecotourism products / circuits. In addition, in order to strengthen the capacities of the members of Tunisia Ecotourism, a study trip was organized in the Mediterranean region, as well as technical support for the development of an online platform for the promotion and sale of fair trade products that supports small producers socially and environmentally responsible.

 Since these projects have now come to fruition, a national capitalization workshop will be taking place in Dar Zaghouen on December 14, 2017. This workshop aims to capitalize on the experiences and good practices of ecotourism and eco-construction learned in the context of these pilot projects. The workshop will gather experts and key national actors in the mentioned areas including ministries, NGOs and startups representatives. Their mission is to discuss during two sub-workshops main challenges they face and solutions, as well as future directions:

• What image do we want to show of the tourism in Tunisia? And the role of the goverment?

• How to better connect the customer (demand) with the ecotouristic offer?

• Are there standards or eco-construction guidelines at the national level?

• How are the different climatic regions and traditional knowledge / architecture / customs of each region taken into account in eco-construction?

For more information check out the agenda (in French) and follow us on our social networks.