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      Tunis, Tunisia

      Energy Observer has berthed in Tunisia, the first stopover of its Mediterranean Odyssey on the southern coast and also, its first contact with the African continent.

      Coming from: Ajaccio, France

      Time of arrival: 4:00 AM

      Picture of Energy Observer near the Tunisian coasts

      An opportunity for the Energy Observer crew to explore local initiatives in this rapidly changing country which is the first Arab Spring country to become a democracy. Their goal: to raise awareness among citizens, entrepreneurs, and politicians about the environmental issues of the Mediterranean.

      First African stopover of Energy Observer

      After 50 hours of sailing from Cagliari in Sardinia, and after passing the Island of Zembra, a UNESCO biosphere reserve, the vessel reached Gammarth, Tunisia, on the 19th of April.

      Picture of Energy Observer on the sea

      A stopover dedicated to the search for local initiatives and people engaged with the ecological movement.

      Since the advent of democracy, Tunisia has witnessed the emergence of associations which have set themselves the objective of addressing environmental challenges and protesting against the major sources of pollution. These are the local initiatives that the team set out to discover while filming their documentary series The Odyssey for the Future, which will be broadcast this fall on Planete+.

      In the humid zone of Ghar El Melh, Bizerte, local WWF agents are fighting to preserve this fragile ecosystem which is threatened by rise of sea levels and unrestrained urbanization. It is home to the ancestral irrigation technique of the ‘El Gattaya’ cultures, that uses the phenomenon of the tides. It is also a preferred location for local fishermen, who practice their activity in an environmentally responsible manner, but whose future is threatened by waste waters dumped in the lagoon.

      Then, the Energy Observer team left for the Gabès region to discover an initiative to preserve the seaside oasis of Chenini, in the company of Mabrouk Jabri, president of the association Terre et Humanisme and close relation of Pierre Rabhi, who is working for the transmission of agro-ecological techniques and food self-sufficiency. He is one of the strong voices in favor of sustainable development, but was silenced under the dictatorship of Ben Ali.

      Energy Observer left the Tunisian coast on Tuesday, April 24 at 14:00, headed to Malta where it arrived on the evening of Thursday, April 26. The vessel will return to North Africa next September, to discover Morocco and Algeria.