Maintaining Cultural Landscapes for Biodiversity and Livelihood security in the Moroccan High Atlas

Building on the project Cultural landscape management in the Moroccan High Atlas, we launched a third project funded by the MAVA Foundation in August 2020, which aims to conserve iconic cultural landscapes in the Moroccan High Atlas that harbour significant biological and cultural diversity.

Based on participatory action research carried out during the past three years as part of our High Atlas Cultural Landscapes programme, we expand and deepen the documentation of relationships between cultural practices and biodiversity together with our local partner Moroccan Biodiversity and Livelihoods Association. We also develop implementation actions for core project themes – economics, policy and governance – aimed at establishing robust markets for High Atlas cultural products, building an enabling national policy environment for the maintenance of High Atlas cultural landscapes and strengthening governance systems that protect and maintain High Atlas cultural landscapes.  

The project operates in the High Atlas communes of Ait M’hamed, Oukaïmeden and Imegdal in the regions of Azilal and Al Haouz in Southern Morocco, focusing on agdals (extensive highland pastures) and terraced agroecosystems. Moreover, through this project we launch our HACL programme in a fourth commune of Zaouiat Ahansal (Azilal province).

As part of this project, we promote international recognition of key sites in the High Atlas as World Heritage Cultural Landscapes and/or Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Sites by supporting key government actors to engage in the relevant processes for recognition. 

Through this project, we also participate in a wider Mediterranean partnership funded by the MAVA Foundation called Promoting sustainable land-use practices in the Mediterranean. Together with our partners in the Mediterranean, we are raising awareness of the ecological value and economic importance of sustainable land-use practices in key Mediterranean ecoregions, in particular in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Lebanon and Morocco.

This project is funded by the MAVA Foundation.