The National Tree Day is celebrated annually on the second Sunday of November. It was established by a presidential decree dated November 3, 1958.
The Tunisian government prepares a special programme implemented in cooperation with non-governmental institutions.
Tunisia, like many countries of the African continent, suffers from the problem of deforestation, which is one of the major environmental issues in the state. The government of Tunisia started to take certain actions towards restoration of the tree plantations.
The government developed a long running programme of afforestation, running from 2007. According to this programme, 16% of the territory of Tunisia must be covered with trees plantations untill 2020.
All Tunisians are annually encouraged to participate in the trees planting events organized across different regions of the country.
President Beji Caid Essebsi took part, on Sunday, in the celebration of Tree Day.
He planted an olive tree in Oued Sebai, Jebel Lahmar. Classified as one of the black spots of the capital, this area has been transformed into a green space and a lung for the locality, after its afforestation and development over an area of 2.5 ha.
The Ministries of agriculture and local affairs worked together for the extension of the plant cover, tree-planting and forest fire protection.
Minister of Local Affairs and Environment Riadh Mouakher told local media, as part of this event, that the development of Oued Sebai is part of a national programme to rehabilitate black spots near popular neighborhoods.
This initiative will include, initially, 10 neighbourhoods and will cover in three years, almost 100 zones throughout the territory.
He added that an agreement has been reached with a private company to look after Oued Sebai.
The national tree-planting programme 2016/2017 envisages the planting of 10 thousand ha (7 thousand ha of forestry cultivation and 3 thousand ha of pastoral cultivation).
This is in addition to the achievement² 4 thousand ha of cactus, said Minister of Agriculture Samir Taieb.
The minister added that 22 million plants (decorative trees, pastoral and forestry plants) are distributed free of charge.
He also recalled the partnership agreements signed by the public and private sectors between 2014 and 2016, including the Ministry of Education, for the planting of 500 thousand trees in the school environment. To date, only 44,855 trees have been planted in 1,075 schools.