Tunisia's environmental policy aims to preserve the ecological balance, safeguard natural and human resources, and control all forms of pollution. It also seeks to reconcile development needs with environmental imperatives in order to protect natural elements (air, water, soil, and biodiversity), reduce existing risks to such resources, and improve the living conditions of the population. All these objectives are included in a national strategy for sustainable development in compliance with the principles of the 1992 Rio conference.

There is a diversity of institutions in Tunisia in charge of the environment. They are led by the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development, which is responsible for the conception, and implementation of a national policy of environment protection. The institutions under the Ministry's supervision are five:

  1. National Office of Sanitation (ONAS) www.onas.nat.tn
  2. National Environment Protection Agency (ANPE) www.anpe.nat.tn
  3. National Agency for Coastal Protection (APAL) www.apal.nat.tn
  4. Tunis International Center for Environment Technologies (CITET) www.citet.nat.tn
  5. National Agency for Energy Management (ANME) www.anme.nat.tn

Tunisia on line www.tunisiaonline.com/environment

The National Sustainable Development Commission (CNDD) established in 1993 within the framework of the follow-up of the Rio de Janeiro Summit, the CNDD complemented the institutional mechanism put in place to protect the Environment in Tunisia. Its mission is to ensure the integration of the Environment into development and to promote the approach of sustainable development in all national development plans. It provides a consultation forum for the different national actors working for economic and social development


Several specific programs of environmental protection have been developed, including "La main bleue (Blue Hand)", "La Main verte (Green Hand)" and "La Main Jaune (Yellow Hand)".

  • The mission of the "Blue Hand" program is to protect the coast and water resources against the risks engendered by the activities based in the coastal regions. It includes, in particular, the prevention of oil pollution, the organization and promotion of beach cleaning, the encouragement of waste-water treatment and the installation, in coastal cities, of major systems for the control of waste problems.

  • The program of the "Green Hand" aims to preserve nature and promote green spaces in urban areas.

  • The "Yellow hand" program is focused on desertification control.

Cooperation with international and regional partners

To carry out its environmental protection policy and attain its sustainable development objectives, Tunisia has benefited from the sustainable contribution of the cooperation it has initiated with multilateral organizations and fraternal and friendly countries within the framework of partnership.

This active financial and technical cooperation of the Ministry of Environment and Land Use Planning has involved all spheres of Environment, namely the protection of natural resources and the improvement of the quality of life.

At bilateral level, and thanks to this partnership model, several projects have been initiated notably with Germany, but also with Sweden, Spain, the Principality of Monaco, Luxemburg, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Japan.

Within this framework, two countries, Sweden and the Netherlands, have agreed, since 1992, to recycle the Tunisian debt into projects aimed at protection the Environment, thereby giving concrete expression to the recommendations of the Rio Conference.

At multilateral level, Tunisia cooperates with the European Union (the European Investment Bank), the World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Tunisia also receives project financing within the framework of the World Environment Fund and METAP.

Moreover, Tunisia plays an active part within the League of Arab States and the Arab Maghreb Union, and with Mediterranean countries in accordance with the Barcelona Convention and the Mediterranean Action Plan (PAM).

Mediterranean Commission for Sustainable Development (CMDD)

The principle of establishing a CMDD within the framework of the Mediterranean Action Plan (PAM) governed by the Barcelona Convention (1976) was adopted in November 1994 at the ministerial conference on sustainable development in the Mediterranean held in Tunis. The Agenda MED 21 (Mediterranean reading of the Rio Agenda 21) was also adopted at that conference.

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