Tunisia celebrating national tree day
Tunisia marked Sunday November 20 as National Tree Day, according to the local Tunisian press. The day included a public awareness campaign on the importance of tree replanting and protecting the environment. At Sidi Bou Saïd, a suburb north of Tunis, the capital of the country, President Ben Ali presided over a ceremony to mark the importance of the olive tree.
The President also presented statistics claiming that Tunisia has conducted a successful tree replanting campaign, although international environmental organizations were not quoted.
The figures claim that the percentage of area covered by forests in Tunisia has risen to 12.1% (desert areas were not included in this statistic).
Tunisia is keen to boost its environmental credentials in light of its campaign to have even closer diplomatic contacts with the EU and to present itself as a bridge to between the EU and the Arab and African world. (albawaba.com)