The use of legislation is an effective way of primary importance to to rationalize the use and exploitation of natural resources in general and biological resources and biodiversity in particular, most of all in arid and semiarid regions characterized by fragile ecosystems.
Tunisia is gradually with a legislative framework for the preservation of natural resources. These include legislative and regulatory measures (texts of laws and / or decrees) that have been adopted in order to limit degradation of natural resources that constitute the support of biodiversity and heritage conservation.
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These measures include a number of global regulations, including:
- The Forest Code;
- The Water Code;
- The code for the conservation of water and soil (ETUC);
- The development code of territory and urban planning;
- The regulations on maritime public;
- Specific regulations to:
- The protection of wetlands;
- The protection of biological resources including the Fisheries Act, the law on the organization of production and marketing of seeds and seedlings, the regulations on the import and export of seeds and seedlings, various laws and regulations relating to the creation of marine and terrestrial protected areas (national parks, nature reserves, etc ..).
Furthermore, such measures are constantly reviewed to be updated, supplemented and / or enhanced with further legislation in line of sustainable management of natural resources and biodiversity. Thus, in recent years the following measures have been expanding on the existing legal tool:
- Law No. 2002-58 of 25 June 2002 approving the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (JORT No. 52 of 25 June 2002)
- Law No. 2003-78 of 29-12-2003 amending and supplementing the planning code of the territory and urbanism (JORT 104 of 30-12-2003), which provides for protection of the public domain areas maritime and some components of public water resources (lakes, navigation channels, rivers and reservoirs built on the river).
- Decree No. 1748 of 11 August 2003 for the establishment of the National Bank of Genoa, with a mission to assess the local genetic resources and preserve them.
- Law No. 2005-13 of 26 January 2005 amending and completing forestry code (JORT 9 from 1 February 2005), which provides some important new features on various aspects of the code.
- Decree No. 2005-1747 of 13 June 2005 for the establishment of a national fight against desertification Council, under the provisions of the UN Convention on the fight against drought and / or desertification.
- Decree No. 2006-1431 of 22 May 2006 on the establishment of the Regional Centre for Research oasis agriculture and setting out its organization and manner of operation.
- Law 49-2009 of 29 July 2009 on the establishment and management of marine protected areas.
It is also important to note that the Ministry of Environment is currently in the process of developing an environmental code, which regroups, in a dynamic way all legislation related to natural resources and the environment.