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Documentary Captures Local Demands for Development Opportunities in Oil and Gas-Rich Tataouine

Last year, Tunisian journalist and filmmaker Adel Zarrouk produced an Arabic-language documentary with NRGI funding addressing the April 2017 al Kamour movement, a wave of protests and sit-ins in the oil and gas-producing Tataouine region demanding employment and subnational development. In an interview with Tunisian channel M Tunisia, which broadcasted the film, Zarrouk explained the importance of addressing the protest movement, as it captures the ongoing and persistent socioeconomic grievances of citizens from natural resource-producing regions. Zarrouk also highlighted the need for renewed debates around the governance of Tunisia’s natural resources.

Zarrouk recently received a new round of NRGI funding to produce an investigative documentary exploring some of the key environmental impacts of phosphate refining on water resources and small-scale farmers in Tunisia’s southwestern Gabes governorate. The final product, which will be produced before December 2018 and broadcast on national television, will document interviews with local civil society actors, researchers, farmers and fishermen.

In addition, the documentary follows Adel as he gains access to the Groupe Chimique Tunisien (GCT), the region’s phosphate refinery, and interviews key officials within the company. The documentary aligns with NRGI’s efforts in Tunisia (through Open Society Foundations-funded programing) to promote evidence-based debates around the key environmental issues surrounding natural resource production with a view of advancing informed reform recommendations.