Living Planet Morocco (LPM) and Ifrane National Park organized an awareness-raising workshop on the importance of sustainable water and land use practices in conserving the values, functions and services of the ecosystems and biodiversity of the Atlas Cedar Biosphere Reserve, for local stakeholders and managers in Ifrane province, on Friday March 18, 2022 at the park’s headquarters in Azrou.

The event was attended by a number of scientific and technical speakers, including Mr. Mohamed MOUKHLISS, Director of Ifrane National Park, Ms. Hassna ALAOUI ISMAILI, Head of the Partnership Department of the Middle Atlas Regional Directorate for Water, Forests and the Fight against Desertification, Dr. Hassan ACHIBAN, Head of the Ifrane National Park Biodiversity Department, Mr. Khalid KHERRAF, Managing Director of Green Phénix Consulting, and Dr. Oussama Bama, Head of the Ifrane National Park Biodiversity Department. Hassan ACHIBAN, Head of Biodiversity at Ifrane National Park, Mr. Khalid KHERRAF, Managing Director of Green Phénix Consulting, and Dr. Oussama BELLOULID, LPM’s Freshwater Project Manager, all stressed the importance of this reserve, recognized in 2016 by UNESCO as a world heritage site for humanity. The speakers also discussed the various challenges linked to the major dysfunctions and threats currently facing this area, which are negatively impacting its ecosystems and contributing to the fragility of its natural habitats.

In order to foster a virtuous and participatory dynamic to combat the threats identified, good practices in the sustainable management of water resources, land and vegetation cover were introduced as an important and appropriate choice for its conservation and the sustainability of its ecosystem values, functions and services. Listed by LPM in a practical guide, these techniques, which have already been tried out as part of the Sebou Water Fund program, are based on ancestral know-how and heritage, enabling local populations to build effective structures (conventional water mobilization, land management, vegetation cover management, etc.) at low cost and with a positive impact on biodiversity.

The workshop also aimed to improve the knowledge of local stakeholders and decision-makers in charge of managing and exploiting the Cedar forest in Ifrane National Park, so as to understand and integrate the needs of the ecosystems and species of the Atlas Cedar Biosphere Reserve in the planning and sustainable management of water and land.

This workshop is part of the “Revive Atlas Cedar: Managing and conserving natural resources through sustainable land and water use practices in the Middle Atlas” project, whose overall aim is to promote sustainable land and water use practices for the sustainable management of natural resources in the Middle Atlas Cedar forest, through :

  • 1/improving the knowledge and skills of a network of local trainers and natural resource users,
  • 2/implementing a new integrated monitoring and surveillance system for optimal use of local resources,
  • 3/implementation of 4 pilot projects to develop agro-sylvo-pastoral products and services,
  • 4/ the projection and dissemination of the best techniques for the sustainable management of the Atlas Cedar Biosphere Reserve.

The project is being implemented under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP), which provides grants to non-governmental and community-based organizations in developing countries to enable them to address global environmental challenges, while meeting local sustainable development needs.

Tags: , Last modified: December 27, 2023