Translated from french by : Asma Charfeddine
In a complaining letter, dating of April 16th 2013, (see below), addressed to the General Director of forests for the regional office for agricultural development in Kebili, five local NGO’s in Douz -one of them is “Tunisie Ecologie”, lead by Abdel Majid Dabbar- denounce the the serious fauna and flora breaches in the Tunisian Sahara and that by several illegal practices, including poaching of protected species by a finite group coming from Gulf countries.
In light of these alerts, and aiming to preserve what is left from our rare and fragile fauna and flora, I would associate myself entirely to those driving voices, which constantly calling a rapid intervention from your side to stop the slaughter.
Claim Mr. Dabbar.
Sale of endangered Animals and deforestation of protected trees.
The five Ngo’s, supported by civic society of the region of Kebilli and Douz called the Genral Director of the forests to act against the sale of endangered animals in the traditional Souk, like the Fennec, birds of prey and the gazelle; which can be found stuffed.
Measures to protect the fragile flora are required so that we stop the illegal deforestation of Saharan, rare and protected trees for fuel-wood or mechanical devices use, as well as the destruction of hedges drawn up to fight the desertification on Douz, El Hassy and Hnich roads , which threatening the last forest trees in the region.
Poachers of the Golf countries back again in Tunisia
Tunisian associations raise also the alarm bell against this serious phenomenon of illegal hunting of protected species by Golf counties members (Qatari and Kuwaiti) (fr) who are reigned in the region of Tatouine, Gabés and Douz since years by establishing an internment camp in the Sahara.
In two previous articles, we approached this practice, denounced by the same ecology activist Abdelmajid Dabbar. These illegal practices were condoned by the former Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali himself. (fr)
Poachers have established such camps in areas Om Echiah (south side of Matmata’s mountains), Bir Soltan (a few kilometers from Ksar Ghilen), El Oueara (south-western side of the governorate of Tataouine) and illegally chased bustard (Houbara in Arabic) and the last Dorcas and Rim. Let is not forget that we also contacted the management of forests repeatedly without having any opportunity to address a manager.
The ecologist continues to denounce the many crimes committed by the Kuwaiti and Qatari poachers such as:
• Infringement of the regulation by allowing foreigners to settle in the desert without permission. Tax-related violation: these poachers import to Tunisia equipment and cars without permission and without paying customs duties and keep them in deposits in Tunisia including the cities of Gabes, Tozeur and Tataouine.
• Introduction of weapons into Tunisian territory without prior notification.
• Non-compliance with the law of hunting conservation, by allowing poachers to hunt protected species under Tunisian law.
• The non-compliance with international conventions, “the Washington Convention and the Rio Convention” ratified by both Golf countries and Tunisia, imposing the protection of animal species in danger of extinction.
The president of the magazine “Ecologie Tunisie” closes his letter of protest urging the authorities to join the civic society, to act and to assume their responsibility in the looting of Tunisian natural resources:
Our responsibility is great to all future generations; we know we can rely on you to save the critically endangered natural resources in Tunisia.
The letter, in Arabic, written by the five NGO’s:
I come from those regions and I must say that most of the damage is not caused by some poachers coming of the Golf countries.. To speak the truth I’ve never encountered one of them though I’ve heard of them.. mostly in media and in the internet.. Most of the damage is caused by local people.. The NGO knows very well who I’m speaking of.. Douz is a small town you know: everybody knows everybody!
Brother, you are wrong. Don’t be stubborn. Follow the herd, this is the age of sheep. Don’t use your brain. Repeat what everybody says and you will be safe and appreciated. Salam.