On 1 April 2017, we launched a second project funded by the MAVA Foundation, addressing biodiversity conservation and landscape management, and agroecology and livelihoods, strengthening the work being carried out in an ongoing project on integrated approach to plant conservation in the Moroccan High Atlas that began in 2016. These two projects combine in efforts to restore ecology and conserve biodiversity, promote vibrant and sustainable local economies to enhance livelihoods and wellbeing, and revitalise beneficial traditional land use practices and governance systems. Both also seek to scale up approaches at the landscape level, with a view to sustaining other High Atlas communes as they seek to conserve biodiversity whilst enhancing local livelihoods.
Through this particular project, we will work closely with our partners to assess and monitor the status of biodiversity in the context of environmental change, document sustainable land use practices and how these are changing, and analyse the ability of traditional governance systems to be maintained in a shifting political landscape. Our aim is to develop and implement targeted actions to halt the loss of biodiversity using ecological restoration methods and applying sustainable biodiversity management practices, enhance ecologically-sound local economies by combining traditional land and resource use with innovative approaches, including sustainable commercialisation of plant harvests, and work with communities to strengthen local governance practices that sustain biodiversity and wellbeing.
The specific objectives of this project are:
Global Diversity Foundation developed an integrated approach—consolidated in our High Atlas Cultural Landscapes programme—that combines research and action on biodiversity conservation and landscape management, agroecology and livelihoods, and water management. This biodiversity-agroecology-hydrology approach was first adopted in the ongoing three-year project, launched in 2016 project, titled Integrated approach to plant conservation in the Moroccan High Atlas.
This three-pronged approach addresses the interconnected threats of loss of biodiversity, erosion of socio-cultural values and systems that attend to biodiversity, poverty and emigration, and poor water management in the context of increasingly severe environmental change.
All components are underwritten by an integrated participation, capacity-building and awareness-raising structure that ensures community ownership and sustainability of our overall High Atlas Cultural Landscapes Programme.