Living Planet Morocco’s biodiversity programme is being implemented in the Atlas Cedar Biosphere Reserve (ACBR). This area has been prioritised by our NGO because of the precious ecological and heritage value of the Moroccan cedar forest, which covers almost 133,000 hectares, particularly in the Middle Atlas, Eastern High Atlas and Rif mountains. This remarkable ecosystem has always represented a strategic issue for Morocco, both ecologically and socio-economically. Cedar forests protect the soil, water and biodiversity, and play a major role in regional development through the ecosystem services, revenue and jobs they provide.

The Middle Atlas region geographical location gives it a wide bioclimatic variety and significant biological diversity: 50% of plant associations, 50% of mammal species and 60% of Moroccan bird species.

In 2013, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) added the Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica) to its red list of endangered species. The International Coordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, meeting in Lima from 18 to 19 March 2016, added the Atlas cedar forest to the list of 20 new sites in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. This new status of Atlas Cedar Biosphere Reserve (ACBR) has been granted to this cedar forest, which concentrates almost 75% of the world population of this species and is home to great faunistic and floristic biodiversity and inestimable genetic variability in terms of endemism. The aim of RBCA status is to reconcile the environmental functions, ecological integrity and socio-economic services of the cedar forest, as well as to capitalise on the development and enhancement projects in the national parks where it is found.

Living Planet Morocco is rolling out its biodiversity programme in this area in collaboration with its long-standing partners, namely the Agence National des Eaux et Forêts, the Province of Ifrane and other institutional stakeholders whose representatives sit on the steering committee for the projects implemented on the field.

Last modified: January 12, 2024

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