On the celebration of International Biodiversity Day on 22 May 2014, HAF President Dr Yossef Ben-Meir shared some of his thoughts about the preservation of biodiversity in Morocco
The High Atlas Foundation partners with the High Commission for Water and Forests to advance human development with communities that neighbor Morocco’s ten national parks.
This unique partnership includes the provision of arable land by the High Commission for local people to build their organic tree and plant nurseries.
This essential contribution by the High Commission catalyzes a sustainable agricultural development process that incorporates different value chain measures including organic certification, experiential training, cooperative building, processing of product and commercialization.
Sustainable development with communities that neighbor national parks is inseparable from the process of preserving biodiversity and strengthening the natural environment.
Rural communities experiencing the most concentrated and severe poverty in Morocco – and throughout the world, for that matter – are not in a socioeconomic position to fulfill the requirements of biodiversity preservation even as their traditions and practices are harmonious with environmental sustainability. For example, the essential process of allowing livestock to graze damages the ecosystem to an extent and has to be adequately offset.
Thus for the High Atlas Foundation and its public and private partners, biodiversity and development are inextricably bound. They advance in conjunction with each other and their respective interest groups, engaged in participatory dialogue, can fulfill their respective goals far more successfully than if they were acting alone.
Here’s to biodiversity’s international day, which by its nature is also a day to recommit ourselves to sustainable human development!
Dr. Yossef Ben Meir, HAF President