28 May 2020
In 2016, we started establishing community plant nurseries in the High Atlas communes of Imegdal and Aït M’hamed together with our partner Moroccan Biodiversity and Livelihoods Association (MBLA). The nurseries in both communes are now thriving with endemic, valuable and threatened species such as rosemary and Moroccan wild thyme. The plants and fruit trees grown in these community plant nurseries were all selected in collaboration with local community members who will plant a part of them in designated areas and reintroduce selected species back to the wild. Once these valuable plants are distributed, they will also enhance rural incomes and decrease harvesting pressure on wild populations, which the community often heavily depend on for their livelihoods.
This January, our GDF-MBLA team organised two plant distributions. Our focal points in Imegdal and Aït M’hamed, Rachid and Soufiane, organised the events with the support of community researchers Hamid, Mohamed, Touda, Hassan and Hammou. Together, they invited residents from neighbouring areas and villages, including members of local cooperatives and associations, to the community plant nurseries. In Imegdal, we distributed 14,700 plants of 22 species, benefiting 404 households in 16 different villages, in addition to a local high school in Asni. “The GDF-MBLA project has enabled us to cultivate wild, aromatic and medicinal plants in our land and also to grow fruit trees,” says Aziz from Taourirte. “This will not only improve our income but also protect our forest.”