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Tunisia, like most of the global South, is exposed to the worst consequences of ongoing climate change. These phenomena have been largely triggered by the economies of the North, which concentrate the most capital, technology, and industries, including the most polluting among them, and which use the most energy and the most industrialized and intensive agriculture. Historically, the North is responsible for almost 80 % of carbon emission worldwide but the South is paying the price. In this context Tunisia, as with most of the global South, lacks means of protection against such “climatic” disasters that is visible everywhere in the country and it first affects the most vulnerable social classes, communities and groups of people especially the women. The rural communities are unarguably one of the most affected categories by this disaster in different levels; their agriculture is directly threatened by the diminution of arable land, rarefaction of water source and their salinification. Meanwhile we strongly believe in the importance of local knowledge and women’s involvement in facing this crisis, as we want to document and to put under the spotlight these stories of resistance in Tunisia and in the global south.
This book is an attempt to explain how this rural local knowledge can be a key component of adaptation and resistance to climate change in Tunisia and through stories from different parts of the country it tries to highlight the everyday practices of the small scale farmers facing the climate crisis. Starting from local evidence and leading to global syntheses” is the main idea of the book where we investigate local communities and their local knowledge as a tool to resist climate change. Between adaptation, resilience, resistance, and climate change narratives we aim to also study the processes of marginalization of Tunisian peasantry and food insecurity at the family, local and national scale; understand climate change processes at the global and local scale and identify their various impacts on local food security and global food sovereignty. From “Ghar el melh”, “Tabarka” and “Zaghouan” in the northern Tunisia to “Gabes” and going through “Tamaghza” in the south we tried to document and capture, through a gender-based approach, the place and role of small scale farmers and women farmers in the rural areas and how they contribute and secure the family food security and the local knowledge’s “keeping” development (through experiencing) and transmission. This attempt to understand the context resistance to climate change describes also the socio economic context and the historical condition leading to food dependency in Tunisia and different processes of systemic marginalization of these communities depriving them from their main means of production. We also try to underline the effect of the agro industry and market oriented agriculture in enhancing climate change as a global effect.
With this analysis the authors tried to base their work on human stories of the forgotten rural Tunisia without victimizing their inhabitant while telling their non ending quest for resistance and dignity.