Accelerating Sustainable Development Toward 2030

 Taken together, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – contained in U.N. Resolution 70/1 involving the 194 member states and civil society in its deliberation – seek an encouraging level of development of humanity’s social and environmental existence. They establish a framework through 2030 that can assist nations and communities of the world in plotting what could amount to transformative, prosperous, and sustainable achievements. 




What does it look like when the local approach to achieving sustainable development projects guides not just how we govern, but is also strategically implemented by candidates to help them campaign and secure elected office?

First, let us consider which processes are most effective in advancing community initiatives that meet both socio-economic and environmental needs. From this vantage point, we can see how participatory development procedures translate into broad-based political movements.

Public participation in community programs and projects is the factor that most determines whether development-interventions successfully achieve their objectives. Sustainability requires local control in both the determination of priorities – regarding education, health, or the economy – as well as in management and evaluation of development projects.

By facilitating inclusive dialogue and planning, participatory development provides the basis for community-based and institutional relationships and the win-win cross-sectoral partnerships they form to achieve common goals.  Critically, these projects are defined by the people (down to their budgets) in rural and small towns and cities, and designed to further their individual and shared interests.

A benefit of this process that can be especially harnessed in electoral politics is this: community-driven projects generate trust among beneficiaries, and between them and the individuals and agencies who helped turn their expressed ideas into improved life conditions.  That goodwill and commitment is social capital that can launch political action and candidates.

The awesome challenge, however, is to organize across geographic spaces these open and local discussions regarding the needs of the community, and the implementation of solutions.  To achieve this requires tremendous energy on the part of a dedicated political candidate.  It requires communities that invite engagement and are willing to listen to and share different ideas. To catalyze participatory action, it requires experientially trained local facilitators of community planning.


My Morocco experience

February 27, 2017

By Kerstin Opfer, HAF volunteer


 "Morocco is a country that reveals its essence only to those who take the time to draw water and to pour a pot of tea."  

- Moroccan Proverb


Time and tea - the two magic words in Morocco. Two of the most important lessons you will eventually learn in Morocco are that everything takes time, just be patient and to never say no to a cup of tea. Over the last 3 months I had the pleasure to work with the High Atlas Foundation and live in this wonderful and diverse country. I came here with the objective to experience the day-to-day life of a conservationist, to gain practical knowledge in the field of conservation and sustainable development and to truly get to know the Moroccan culture by living in it. Without any doubt, this time was one of the most valuable experiences that fully reinforced my plans to work in conservation and rural development as well as to continue my carrier in Morocco.



Rural Communities Growing Trees in the High Atlas Mountains

February 15, 2017

By Kerstin Opfer, HAF Volunteer


"A man of the companions of the Prophet, peace be upon him said: With my own ears I heard the prophet, peace be upon him, say: Whoever plants a tree and works hard to keep it alive and takes care of it until it gives fruits, will be rewarded and every fruit will be a charity."


Tree Distribution Commune Zerkten

Over the last two days I helped Mohamed, a volunteer of the High Atlas Foundation, with the distribution of a thousand trees, 300 almond and 700 walnut trees, in the commune Zerkten in the High Atlas Mountains. After we picked up the trees from the nursery in Ourika, we took the transport from Ait Ourir and travelled to one of the most remote areas I have ever visited. The further we got the more difficult and onerous the road got to a point where the driver had to check the engine and tires every half an hour. On our way we met several farmers, provided them with trees and visited the land, where they intend to plant the trees. Seeing their thankfulness and appreciation gave me great trust that they will take good care of the trees so that they will grow up to be strong and healthy. Once mature, after approximately four years for almond and six years for walnut, every walnut tree will increase the farmer’s yearly income by 300 dollars and every almond tree by 15 dollars.  Almond trees can live longer than a century, and walnut more than four centuries.  This new revenue from the nuts will be a great help for these farmers to overcome subsistence agriculture and poverty and will promote the sustainable development of their local communities.


Achieve the dream of planting trees in schools

Amina El Hajjami Project manager with High Atlas Foundation

It's amazing when you have a dream in life and you see this dream becoming reality. This happened to me when I was a student in primary schools.

I walked 6 km from my home to my school and on the road; all the farms have trees, mostly olive trees. My school just had one big eucalyptus tree. I asked myself, who planted this beautiful trees that give shade to the students and why didn't we have more trees in my school and if we want trees, who can help schools planting them. A lot of question in my memory and I have recalled them when I started working with High Atlas Foundation.



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HafFdtn الحفاظ على الثقافة المغربية والخبرة اليهوديّة
HafFdtn Participatory democratic initiatives are made for people’s dev. projects to meet multiple human needs at once!
HafFdtn RT @ProfessorBone: … Thank you @GLAteens for this article on @maxbone55 & the value of #globaleducation @HafFdtn @…
HafFdtn A moment together, then it passes. We hope all gatherings result in good - for those who take part & for others.
HafFdtn Mimouna's event truly demonstrates the unique ability the Kingdom of Morocco has to foster interfaith dialogue in t…
HafFdtn HAF planted a community tree nursery on land of the Hussein Ben Ali school in Moulay Yacoub (near Fes).
HafFdtn We enjoyed discussing the potential of renovating the Mellah of Marrakesh this weekend. By doing this, we can impro…
HafFdtn Association Mimouna's event this weekend focusing on the History, Memory, Architecture & Human Development of the M…

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