Protection of the North West Sahara Aquifer System (NWSAS) and related humid zones and ecosystems

Project Summary

The project for the Transboundary Aquifer System of the Northern Sahara (Algeria, Libya and Tunisia) has as its objective the protection of this critical resource, and in particular of the recharge areas and humid zones and ecosystems related to the aquifer. It includes two complementary components: (I) improving the knowledge of the aquifer and related ecosystems and (ii) implementing a consultation mechanism at the hydrogeologic basin level. In the three countries concerned - Algeria, Libya and Tunisia - the management of the NWSAS water resources will cover arid and semi-arid areas that are presently affected by desertification.Recent assessments have indicated the partly renewable nature of this aquifer, and hence the opportunity for its sustainable management, which would necessarily include the protection of water quality (recharge areas) and of humid zones, such as oasis, shebkas etc, which are critical from the socio-economic and environmental points of view. The project represents a significant first step in this direction taken by the three countries.

Project Details

GEF Project ID
Project Type
Medium-size Project
Focal Areas
Funding Source
GEF Trust Fund
Implementing Agencies
United Nations Environment Programme
Executing Agencies
Observatoire du Sahel et du Sahara
GEF Period:
GEF - 3
Approval Fiscal Year:


Project Preparation Grant Amount
GEF Project Grant
600,000 USD
Co-financing Total
816,000 USD
GEF Agency Fees
146,000 USD
Total Cost 1,416,000.00 USD

Project Timeline

Received by GEF
20 Sep 2002
Project Approved for Implementation
18 Dec 2002
Project closed
30 Jun 2006