Morocco Environmental News Round-up 26th November- 14th December

Manon Burbridge

Lund University, Sweden





Morocco Loses $174m Annually Due to Climate Change

The Global Climate Risk Index 2019, published on 27th November, revealed that over the period 1998-2017, Morocco lost $174m annually due to climatic hazards, considerably impacting GDP. It also ranks 124th in the world for countries facing climate risk and 108th for climate-related deaths.

Morocco scores alongside countries such as Malta, the Maldives, Namibia and Lebanon.

Read more


Climate Change Performance Index Ranks Morocco 2nd in World

The new Climate Change Performance Index for 2019 has ranked Morocco as the 2nd-best performing country in the world, scoring 70.48, behind Sweden, who scored 76.28.

Morocco performed excellently in all categories, scoring ‘high’ in GHG emissions, renewable energy, energy use and climate policy.

Saudi Arabia and the USA came bottom of the table.

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International Finance Corporation and Cluster Solaire Launch Climate Entrepreneurship Programme

This initiative, jointly funded by Cluster Solaire (Moroccan association of solar energy) and International Finance Corporation (part of the World Bank), will help to increase the capacity and skill of Moroccan renewable energy start-ups. It will also strengthen the solar energy company development ecosystem, to expand the market of environmentally sound technologies, to create new jobs and mitigate climate change.

Read more:


Irrigation Experiment to Tackle Water Scarcity in Souss-Massa

In the last 40 years, water availability per person per year in Morocco has dropped by 2000m3 to just 500m3 due to global warming. In the Souss-Massa area of Morocco, which provides 60% of the country’s citrus exports, the two main groundwater aquifers, which feed the agriculture sector, have seen a sharp decline since 2000.

In response, the region has begun an innovative irrigation experiment to combat this problem, in line with the Plan Maroc Vert’s ambitions to reduce water usage in farming by 50% and to convert 550,000ha of land to drip-irrigation.

To work effectively, and prevent over-exploitation of water, drip-irrigation technology must be coupled with water consumption quotas, water meters and a billing system adapted to water availability. In Souss-Massa, weather stations are used, covering a 2000ha radius which records weather data daily, helping farmers estimate their water need based on the rate of evaporation predicted. This helps them save water use by over 25% and on energy-related expenses.

Read more:


Moroccans Prefer to Consume Local Products

A new survey, conducted by the Economist and Sunergia, found that 60% of respondents opt to buy Moroccan domestic brands and products- mostly because of the cost of imported products. 70% of rural respondents preferred local products, whilst the majority of 15-34 year olds prefer foreign imports.

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Increased Production in Moroccan Citrus Harvests

Moroccan citrus production has increased by 18% over the previous year, reaching 2.6 million tons, due to good weather conditions and an increase in the total harvested area.

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Action on Migration at the Global Forum on Migration and Development in Marrakech

Manon Burbidge
Lund University, Sweden


On the morning of 6th December 2018, I got the chance to attend a panel at the 11th Global Forum for Migration and Development (GFMD), this year hosted in Marrakech, Morocco.  The core theme was focussed on “Honouring International Commitments to Unlock Potential of All Migrants for Development” and was the largest multi-stakeholder dialogue platform concerning migration and development, representing government policymakers, GFMD observers, members of civil society and the private sector. Although the proceedings of the GFMD are non-binding and voluntary, it is hoped that this conference will lay down foundations for the first Global Compact for Migration (for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration), held on 10th-11th December, also in Marrakech.


This UN-led High-Level Political Forum is the first international compact of its kind to address migration, designed to improve the management and co-operation of countries concerning the movement of peoples across borders. This agreement will also address the overarching causes of migration, such as poor access to sustainable livelihoods, the socio-economic and environmental implications of migration upon both origin and host countries, as well as working to enhance the value and impact of migrants for sustainable development.


As it was my first international conference, I was not quite sure what to expect! From my first impressions, it definitely deserved the title of “international”: over 100 nations were represented, including governments, civil society members and NGOs, and amidst the bustle of delegates moving from room to room, I heard Arabic, French, German, English, Spanish being spoken…


Dr Yossef Ben-Meir was one of five guest panellists invited to speak at a side event, organised by “Fondation EuroMedA” which took place alongside the conference’s morning session. EuroMedA is a collaborative organisation promoting relationships between Europe, the Mediterranean region and Africa. They are particularly focussed on the five priority areas of: developing renewable energies, political action and policies directed at Euro-African migration, fighting against violent extremism, developing a common project centred on youth education and training, and creating a new paradigm of development between Europe towards Africa, with regards to sustainable agriculture, energy and commerce.



The panel spoke for about one hour, before opening the floor to questions, during which several interesting topics were broached.

Primarily, the Mediterranean region was discussed as the cradle of peoples and religions, and as such, there is a need to define a common cultural project and unified paradigm for migration across the region and between the wider area of Europe and Africa. The idea of unification was key, as one panellist said, “nationalism flourishes in Europe as a response to the unclear moves governments have taken to deal with migration, and because we are in a system which favourises illegal migration”. But questions were of course raised over


whether it was even possible to have this unified approach to migration, given the historical differences between Europe and Africa.
Another panellist highlighted that the key issues arising from climate change that Africa will face in the future include desertification, food insecurity, drought and soil degradation, all of which could set a new wave of migrants on the move.

img2Dr Ben-Meir spoke of how the participatory approach is used in Morocco to work towards meaningful sustainable development projects, which can be an alternative to migration for rural communities, as well as the laws in place Morocco has to protect the migrants that settle here.

Once the panel had wrapped up, I also had a few minutes to take a peek at an art installation, of what initially looked like a selection of tents set up in a chilly courtyard: on closer inspection, these tents were beautifully stitched together with national flags and traditional clothing. It turned out to be a project set up to utilise the Antarctic Treaty’s precedent for peaceful co-operation as a message of hope, unity and humanity, for a world without borders and an advocation of Antarctica as a “supranational emblem of human rights”. I left the conference a passport holder for the continent of Antarctica, which to quote it, is a “universal passport for a continent without borders, for the common good of humanity. Climate change has no borders”. As a bearer, I must work to fight climate change, support humanitarian actions, act for sustainable development and spread peace and equality.

Now isn’t that a thought for the day?


Manon is a postgraduate student in Human Ecology at Lund University, Sweden, currently interning at the High Atlas Foundation, Morocco.

Tree-planting event at Albayrat primary school

by Nisreen Abo-Sido, HAF volunteer, Thomas J. Watson Fellow


Over the weekend, part of the HAF team visited a primary school in Rhamna to check in with community leaders, distribute 140 fruit trees, and join in the excitement of playing and planting with energetic children and volunteers.  Activity organizers welcomed us with warm bread and tea, but we couldn’t sit still as the echoes of music and laughter pulled us back outside to join in the day’s activities.



Errachid--HAF Project Manager and Volunteer Coordinator--gathers with the children prior to tree planting.


We dug, painted, weeded, and planted, all while appreciating the enthusiasm and compassion the community volunteers emanated and the children replicated.



Rachid Nacer--social work actor--entertains the children with song and dance.



Ibrahim--a HAF volunteer from Algeria--paints a tire prior to tree-planting.


We recognized and admired the school’s health facilities and classrooms, but upon speaking with community leaders, we found that their current challenges included the absence of an organized parent’s association, as well as complications with securing electricity.  Normally every school in Morocco has a parent’s association to facilitate familial involvement and support of school activities; these associations typically play an important role in school dynamics.  As for the electricity problem, many community members had different interpretations of the conflict, but we ultimately deduced that the current electrical network is serviced by cables connected illegally to bring electricity to the school.  In line with HAF’s participatory approach, we asked community organizers about their goals, and they identified their priority of advocating for official electrical lines. 


The differences in understanding of the electricity problem and the absence of an official electrical line illustrate a real challenge of participatory action based approaches: they are built on effective communication.  Nevertheless, we were impressed by the vibrancy and success of this community’s initiatives, given that they had started organizing on Facebook, a testament to the commitment and insight of community-led action.  We will return to conduct participatory meetings with the community to help resolve these issues.



Nisreen--a HAF volunteer from the USA--and school children remove weeds in preparation for tree planting.


The energetic and vibrant atmosphere kept us smiling long after we left. Albayrat primary school exemplified the power and potential of community-based action, and we are glad that HAF could be a part of driving this progress forward.



The Moroccan Schools as Bridge to the Communities

By Said EL Bennani
Project Manager




The beauty of Morocco exists not only in the big cities but also in the charming villages of the countryside. Many villages and residential communities are scattered along the Atlas Mountain range, from the south-west of the country to the far east, and the activities vary from one region to the other. Nevertheless, they share many activities and practices.

Since 2000, the High Atlas Foundation (HAF) has been trying to reach and visit as many villages in Morocco as it can, to work with communities to improve development by creating sustainable projects using different methods of communication.


HAF did a lot of work across the High Atlas Mountains, in Al Haouz, Ouarzazate, Taroudant, Errachidia, and in the Fès-Meknes region. The Delegation of Education in Ifrane is one important partner of HAF in the Fès-Meknes region. Together they decided to build fruitful partnerships and facilitate communication between all development actors in the Ifrane. Two years after this decision Ifrane’s Delegation of Education and HAF are very proud of the successful implementation of two fruit tree nurseries in the Assalam school and in the Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane. Driven by this success Ifrane’s Delegation of Education and HAF are now planning to expand this project and build another tree nursery in one of the schools of Ain Leuh, a small town located in the center of the Middle Atlas Mountains, about 1450 meters in altitude, and about 28 kilometers from Azrou.


Said Bennani and the HAF nursery caretaker in Ifrane nurseries traveled from Ifrane to Ain Leuh to visit the schools and meet local communities. We were welcomed warmly by a local teacher of Atlas primary school in Ain Leuh. The teacher was happy to talk with us about her village and the primary school she studied in, when she was a little girl! Now she is a prominent woman in her town - she in not only a teacher but also a leader and contact person for all women in the region, who face challenges. The teacher did not hesitate to show us most of the school parts and share with us information about the history and the students who are studying there. 




The school was established a long time ago, likely in 1923. It is quite large with 12 classrooms, and new ones have yet to be completed. Moreover, they have free space that they can utilize, if they gave it more attention. We also saw existing trees in the school, while we were there. They had many local types of fruit trees as well as some forestry trees. Moreover, the free land they have is not quite big enough to think about building a new fruit tree nursery. Nevertheless, the teacher spoke on behalf of many local actors there—cooperatives, associations, and the agriculture center—who are working together to make their primary school shinier and engaging the community in the development of their own projects. In addition, HAF are looking as well to join this group of actors to talk more about their interest and the possibilities of how we can create more development projects in the communities. In the school, they have a water canal passing its square, plus a local small well. In addition, the teacher said that they are interested in putting an aromatic and medicinal plants nursery in the school. They have bathrooms and a library with books, which gives me the impression that there are some people in that school or somewhere in the village that are looking to give more to Ain Leuh.





On the same day, I had the chance to visit a local cooperative, which makes wool carpets.  In 2015, while I was a volunteer with the agriculture office in Marrakech, I worked with the same cooperative to accompany a group of women from Al Haouz, to visit many sites, in the north of Morocco, granting them more opportunities to learn from different experiences. I remembered the first time I visited them and how they were very active collective women making a variety of beautiful handmade wool carpets.


At the same time, I remembered one of the women from the same cooperative in Ain Leuh visited the HAF office two years ago, when I was a volunteer with HAF. In addition, she participated with Amina EL Hajjami, the HAF Project Manager for Women’s Cooperatives, in visits from the north of Morocco to the South. I visited again the women’s workshop for wool carpets as HAF Project Manager in Fes and Ifrane region. We talked about their challenges, and the future of the cooperative, as well as how they continue to grow the cooperative. Their first interest was looking for help to repair their workplace because the water used to leak inside of the building, preventing them from working comfortably during the rainy and snowy season. They said, “When it is raining, we are not working! Each one of us prefer to stay home.” HAF is looking to help cooperatives like these to solve their problems—community mapping is the best way to achieve this by engaging all the cooperative members.      




My last activity before returning to Fez was the visit I had to the Salam School fruit tree nursery.  We met with Al Akhawayn university students and the new director of the school to make plans to organize a tree planting event with the local schools and communities in the next two months. Thank you to all HAF partners in Ifrane and Fes region, thank you to Ecosia who founded the fruit tree nursery for the Moroccan communities.  

الانخراط في التعلم التجريبي في الأطلس الكبير بالمغرب

إحتضن فندق قصبة أنغور بتحناوت – مراكش- في الفترة الممتدة من 14 الى 18 نوفمبر 2018م مؤتمر استطلاع الخبرات والتجارب بعنوان: مؤسسة الأطلس الكبير نموذج للمقاربة التشاركية من أجل الزراعة المستدامة: إنجازات وتحديات لتلبية أهداف طويلة الأمد على المستويات المجتمعية والإقليمية، وكان المؤتمر برعاية مركز هولينغز للحوار الدولي وبرنامج الأمير محمد بن فهد للأبحاث والدراسات الإستراتيجية بجامعة وسط فلوريدا.

وقد حضر المؤتمر مجموعة من الشركاء والممثلين من داخل الوطن وخارجه وهو أول مؤتمر تعقده مؤسسة الأطلس الكبير مع شركاء من خارج المغرب وذلك بهدف كسر الحواجز التعريفية مع الأطراف الخارجية، وتوسعة دائرة التبادل والتعارف، وقد شمل الحضور كل من:

ـ ممثلين عن مركز هولينغز للحوار الدولي بالولايات المتحدة الأمريكية.

ـ ممثلين من جامعة وسط فلوريدا.

ـ شركاء من وزارة الفلاحة بالمغرب.

ـ مسؤولي المشاريع في مؤسسة الأطلس الكبير في جهة بوجدور- فاس – وجدة.

ـ أعضاء من مختلف الدول متطوعين في مؤسسة الأطلس الكبير.

في البدء أقيم ركن تعارف بين الحضور بطريقة إبداعية تثير اهتمام الحاضرين الى مشاركة الجميع في المعارف والأفكار وتعزز دور كل فرد داخل المجموعة وتزيل الحواجز الوهمية في ظل وجود فروقات في الجنسيات والأعمار بين المشاركين.

في الجلسة الاولى التي نشطها الدكتور يوسف بن مير رئيس مؤسسة الأطلس الكبير كان الحديث حول كيفية تفعيل التنمية التشاركية والمستدامة في بيئة سياسية مواتية في المغرب، وأشار من خلالها الى مفهوم المقاربة التشاركية التي تعني المشاركة في الفعل الجماعي من كل الجهات المعنية بهدف إشراك المستفيدين في تحديد وتشخيص مشاكلهم الحقيقية بمساهمة كل الأطراف الفاعلة والمستفيدين دون إقصاء لأي طرف من الأطراف في صياغة وإنجاز وتقييم المشاريع، باعتبار أن الاستفادة من نتائج هذا العمل تعود على الجميع، كما تتخذ التشاركية مبدأ اللامركزية في التسيير لجعل المشاريع أكثر ديناميكية ومرونة وسهلة التنفيذ على ارض الواقع.

ليعرج بعدها الى التعريف بأنشطة ومهام مؤسسة الأطلس الكبير والتي تتمثل في الحفاظ على البيئة من خلال زراعة مختلف الأشجار والنباتات ونشر ثقافة الحفاظ على البيئة في المؤسسات التربوية والأرياف إضافة إلى إنشاء المشاتل لضمان عملية التكاثر وإنتاج شتلات النباتات النادرة وإرشاد الساكنة لأفضل أنواع المزروعات المثمرة التي ينصح بزراعتها في المناطق الفلاحية، بهدف ضمان نوعية المحاصيل الزراعية، واستغلال مداخيل مبيعات المنتوجات الزراعية في تمويل المشاريع التنموية.

بالإضافة الى توفير الماء الصالح للشرب في المناطق النائية باعتباره عنصر ضروري لكل أشكال الحياة فالإنسان يحتاجه للعديد من الاستخدامات مثل الطبخ والنظافة الشخصية والمنزلية وسقي المحاصيل الزراعية فضلا عن أهميته في الشرب لضمان البقاء على قيد الحياة.

كما تقوم المؤسسة بتشجيع الفلاحة البيولوجية التي تحمي البيئة وتدعم التوازن الطبيعي للمنظومة البيئية، من خلال منع استعمال المواد الكيمياوية المصنعة، وتيسير طرق الوقاية والمقاومة البيولوجية، وتعتمد كذلك على عدم استخدام أي مبيدات حشرية أو أدوية وأسمدة كيمياوية، مما يجعل المنتوجات الفلاحة البيولوجية تتميز بجودتها الممتازة وباحترامها لمعايير الصحة العامة وخلوها من أي مواد كيمياوية أو مصنعة.

وتقوم المؤسسة ببناء القدرات الذاتية والمهارات لدى أفراد المجتمع بصورة منهجية تقوم على التحفيز وتعزيز الثقة في النفس، حتى يتمكنوا من مواجهة متاعب الحياة اليومية وتجاوز العقبات وتحقيق أهدافهم المرجوة.

وتقدم المؤسسة برامج تمكين للمرأة في المناطق الريفية، لتصبح فردا واعيا ومدركا لما يدور حولها، وإبراز علامات القوة في حياتها وإكسابها قوة الثقة بالنفس لمواجهة مصاعب الحياة.

 كما أشار رئيس المؤسسة إلى ضرورة العمل على تحقيق اهداف برنامج التنمية المستدامة من خلال اشراك كل المستفيدين الفاعلين في انجاز المشاريع من اجل تحقيق نتائج أفضل على أرض الواقع


بعدها قدمت كل من فاطمة الزهراء العريبي وابتسام نيري ورشة تجريبية حول التعرف على منهجيات التمكين بمؤسسة الأطلس الكبير، وتمحورت نقاط الورشة حول طرق التمكين الذاتي للمرأة المغربية في المناطق النائية والتي أحدثت تغيير إيجابي بين مجموعات النساء في تلك المناطق كإنشاء التعاونيات ومحاربة الأمية.

بعدها انتقلنا الى ورشة المقاربة التشاركية وهي الاجتماعات التي تقوم بها مؤسسة الأطلس الكبير مع القبائل المتواجدة في المناطق النائية للتعرف على المشاكل والتحديات والمشاريع التي يحتاجون اليها والتي تكون مشتركة بينهم، حيث أن الفكرة تنبع منهم من غير ان تفرض عليهم ، وهذا هو الهدف من هذه الورشة، وكانت من مخرجات هذه الورشة التي جربت على الحاضرين من طرف أمينة الحجامي والرشيد منتصر هو تحديد مجموعة من المشاريع التي من شأنها أن تساهم في تطوير نشاط مؤسسة الأطلس الكبير وقد كان المشروع الأول الذي أجمع عليه المشاركون هو كتابة قصص نجاح المستفيدين المتعاملين مع مؤسسة الأطلس الكبير.

أما في اليوم الثاني من المؤتمر فقد نظمت زيارة ميدانية لأحد مشاريع مؤسسة الأطلس الكبير بإقليم الحوز، وهي عبارة عن تعاونية نسائية بالجماعة القروية "أوريكا" والتي أنشأتها المؤسسة قبل خمس سنوات حيث بدأت بثمان نساء والآن ارتفع عددها الى 35 امرأة مشاركة.

بعدها انتقل الحضور الى مشتل الأشجار المثمرة في منطقة " تادمامت" والذي يحتوي على شجر اللوز والجوز والذي يتم توزيعه على عدة مناطق في المغرب في الجنوب والشرق والشمال.

كما تمت زيارة قبيلة "أنمر" التي استفادت من برنامج التمكين الذاتي للمرأة حيث بفضله التمسوا التغيير والتمكين لدى المرأة وبناء قدراتهم الذاتية.

في اليوم الثالث كانت هناك ورشة تعريفية بجامعة فلوريدا، وبعدها قدم ممثلها "أ. بيتر جاك" النتائج التي توصلوا اليها من خلال زيارتهم الى المغرب في هذا اليومين، حيث عرضوا مجموعة من التحديات التي يعاني منها المغرب والتي يمكن للمؤسسة ان تعمل على تحقيقها وانجازها في المستقبل، ومن بين هذه التحديات: الماء ـ التعليم ـ العمل والشغل ـ المرافق الصحية ـ المال ـ الوعي السياسي.

بعدها أشرف كل من "توماس كريسمان" و"جورج زاليدس" بتقديم ورشة تعريفية عن مصادر المياه بالمغرب وكيفية استخدام اساليب وطرق لمعالجة مياه الصرف الصحي، واستخراج بعض المواد الأخرى مثل المادة الرمادية التي تستعمل للغسيل والسقي وهي تساعد في تكبير الأزهار وتربية الأسماك وصناعة مختلف الأشياء، كما تم التعرف على طرق مراقبة التربة لإدارة الجفاف وضمان الزراعة الدقيقة والتنبؤ بالحريق وتغير المناخ، كما تم التعرف على المواد التي يتم استخراجها من الزيتون وهي مادة البوليفينون والتي يصل سعرها عشرة أضعاف سعر زيت الزيتون.

وقد توصلوا في الأخير الى التركيز على مشروع تعويض الكربون من الثروات الغابية وعرضه في السوق العالمية واستغلال تلك المداخيل في مشاريع تنموية بالمغرب تساهم في توسيع دائرة التأثير.

تجربتي خلال هذا المؤتمر كانت فرصة للقاء مع العديد من الشخصيات من مختلف الجنسيات، من خلال اللقاءات الجانبية في مائدة الطعام أو مختلف مرافق المنتجع الساحر، فكلها كانت مفيدة بتبادل الثقافات والقناعات وحتى المواهب والقدرات مما ترك لي ذكريات سعيدة خالدة في الذهن وهذا ما ترجمته أجواء الوداع المؤثرة خلال آخر وجبة عشاء بكلمات من ذهب.

ومما لا يجب المرور عليه مرور الكرام أداء المنظمين خلال أيام المؤتمر فقد كانوا في المستوى، واعترف لهم بالفضل الكبير في التسيير المحكم لفقرات البرنامج، فانا محتاج لتطبيق تلك الخبرة في الجزائر في الفعاليات التي أكون فيها مثلهم منظما.




الكاتب: إبراهيم بحماني الراعي

مراكش: 23 نوفمبر 2018

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High Atlas Foundation
4 Rue Qadi AyaadAl Manar 4A - 3rd floor - Appt. 12 El Harti, Guéliz, MARRAKESH 40.000 - Morocco

Tel: +212 (0)5 24 42 08 21
Fax+212 (0)5 24 43 00 02 

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Directions to HAF Marrakech Office


High Atlas Foundation
High Atlas Foundation 511 Sixth Avenue, #K110, NEW YORK, NY 10011

Phone: +1 (646) 688-2946
Fax: +1 (646) 786-4780

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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