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Evaluation environnementale des pratiques agricoles et des aménagements de conservation par ACV : cas du bassin versant de Merguellil de la Tunisie centrale

Abstract : In semi-arid areas, agriculture is based on limited and fragile "water and soil" resources that are often overexploited. To ensure the sustainability of agricultural land management in rural areas, environmental assessment must be integrated to support decision-makers and local stakeholders in their decision-making. Due to its comprehensiveness, life cycle assessment (LCA) is one of the most widely used tools for environmental impact assessment. It has global approach (all potential environmental impacts are considered) and life cycle thinking ("cradle to grave"). However, LCA is difficult to apply in rural areas of developing countries. First, LCA requires a lot of data that is difficult to collect because of the diversity of small farming systems. Second, the results of LCA are difficult for non-specialists to interpret because of the complexity of its multiple indicators. Third, the processes included in LCA often do not correspond to the values and interests of stakeholders. Our study area is located upstream of the Merguellil catchment in central Tunisia, a Mediterranean country, characterized by a semi-arid climate with high variability of precipitation and is considered an important recharge area for aquifers. The upstream Merguellil brings together major environmental challenges such as variable and limited resources, over-exploitation of water resources, poor control of access to groundwater and accelerated soil degradation. These problems are also encountered throughout the Mediterranean region. The rapid expansion of conservation measures and of intensive irrigated cropping systems have raised the question of their environmental impacts and particularly on the soil resource. In the context of managing common "water and soil" resources and taking into account the diversity of agricultural practices within a rural area, it is important to assess the impacts at the scale of a territory. Our main objective is to provide decision-makers with knowledge on the environmental impacts of water and soil conservation works (WSCW) and the most relevant cropping systems by LCA at the territory level. In this thesis, we proposed a progressive and iterative participatory approach to analyze the territory in relation to its history, its components (living territories), its functions, its agricultural productions systems and its social components (families). We provided conceptual models shared by all stakeholders, we also collected and validated all the data necessary for the environmental assessment. An innovative methodological framework was proposed to link LCA with this participatory approach and made it possible to analyse the environmental impacts of all cropping systems. Finally, the consideration of the impacts of water and soil conservation works in LCA has been the subject of a specific development. Two indicators were explored using a distributed erosion model (LandSoil): erosion resistance and mechanical filtration. These developments provide all the methods and data to inform decision-making in the context of participatory land management, and in particular to define a sustainable development strategy for water and soil conservation works.
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Meriem Jouini. Evaluation environnementale des pratiques agricoles et des aménagements de conservation par ACV : cas du bassin versant de Merguellil de la Tunisie centrale. Ecologie, Environnement. Montpellier SupAgro; Institut National Agronomique de Tunisie (INAT), 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019NSAM0001⟩. ⟨tel-02879795⟩

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