Sustainable Resource Use in Wetlands of the Mediterranean: The Case of the Tunisian Island Djerba. Field work in Tunesia


Due to the small size, limited resource endowment and steadily increasing anthropological pressure, and not at least the arid climate, the Tunisian island Djerba suffers from enormous ecological problems. The main driving force behind this dramatic change of the native insular system is the development of mass tourism and related economical activities as well as the establishment of infrastructures associated with this development. For finding solutions to these problems the Tunisian government has listed tree vulnerable coastal areas as humid zones on the RAMSAR List of Wetlands of International Importance that are also recognized as Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMI). The overall objective of the project is to explore how international policies, as a result of institutional change, can be implemented at local level, considering the social and institutional processes going on in the case study areas. The main theories applied are the Property Rights and the Distributional Theories of Institutional Change, the Collective Action Theory and the Interactive Governance Theory. The choice of these theories is based on their compatibility with the Institutions of Sustainability Framework (IoS). On the one hand this approach addresses nature-related transactions and the actors involved, on the other hand it includes the institutions and governance structures that emerge in social- ecological systems, and focuses on the interaction of these four variables in real action situations. Methods from empirical social science and comparative case study analysis will be applied. The results will also be used for communication with Tunisian actors.
Due to the small size, limited resource endowment and steadily increasing anthropological pressure, and not at least the arid climate, the Tunisian island Djerba suffers from enormous ecological problems. The main driving force behind this dramatic change of the native insular system is the development of mass tourism and related economical activities as well as the establishment of infrastructures associated with this development. For finding solutions to these problems the Tunisian government has listed tree vulnerable coastal areas as humid zones on the RAMSAR List of Wetlands of International Importance that are also recognized as Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMI). The overall objective of the project is to explore how international policies, as a result of institutional change, can be implemented at local level, considering the social and institutional processes going on in the case study areas. The main theories applied are the Property Rights and the Distributional Theories of Institutional Change, the Collective Action Theory and the Interactive Governance Theory. The choice of these theories is based on their compatibility with the Institutions of Sustainability Framework (IoS). On the one hand this approach addresses nature-related transactions and the actors involved, on the other hand it includes the institutions and governance structures that emerge in social- ecological systems, and focuses on the interaction of these four variables in real action situations. Methods from empirical social science and comparative case study analysis will be applied. The results will also be used for communication with Tunisian actors.


Principal investigators
Hagedorn, Conrad Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. (Details) (Resource Economics)

Duration of project
Start date: 09/2011
End date: 12/2011

Research Areas
Djerba, Feuchtgebiete, Governance-Strukturen, Institutionen, Küstenregion, Nachhaltigkeit, RAMSAR

Last updated on 2022-08-09 at 03:07