Community Fruit Tree and Medicinal Herb Nurseries

by High Atlas Foundation
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Community Fruit Tree and Medicinal Herb Nurseries
Community Fruit Tree and Medicinal Herb Nurseries
Community Fruit Tree and Medicinal Herb Nurseries
Community Fruit Tree and Medicinal Herb Nurseries
Community Fruit Tree and Medicinal Herb Nurseries
Community Fruit Tree and Medicinal Herb Nurseries
Community Fruit Tree and Medicinal Herb Nurseries
Community Fruit Tree and Medicinal Herb Nurseries
Community Fruit Tree and Medicinal Herb Nurseries
Community Fruit Tree and Medicinal Herb Nurseries
Community Fruit Tree and Medicinal Herb Nurseries
Community Fruit Tree and Medicinal Herb Nurseries
Community Fruit Tree and Medicinal Herb Nurseries
Community Fruit Tree and Medicinal Herb Nurseries
Community Fruit Tree and Medicinal Herb Nurseries
Community Fruit Tree and Medicinal Herb Nurseries
Community Fruit Tree and Medicinal Herb Nurseries
Community Fruit Tree and Medicinal Herb Nurseries
Community Fruit Tree and Medicinal Herb Nurseries
Community Fruit Tree and Medicinal Herb Nurseries
Community Fruit Tree and Medicinal Herb Nurseries

On Monday, project manager Said Bennani, volunteer Celina, and I began our weeklong excursion to Fez and Midelt for environmental workshops and tree-planting activities.  On Tuesday, we visited the Abdelaziz Ben Driss child protection center to conduct an environmental workshop with the boys, plant trees, and help load 7,100 saplings to be planted in Midelt this week.  Students from the Spring Arbor University in Michigan, USA, joined us for the tree-planting activities.  We had a lively day, inspired by the caretaker’s thoughtful tree nursery management and the boy’s enthusiastic involvement.

  

We started the day by visiting the tree nursery, which was spread across different plots within the center.  The local association, which organizes activities for the boys at the center, began the nursery in collaboration with HAF in May 2017.  On the way to the nursery, we admired a solar pump, supplying the energy required to extract water from a well.  Then, we met with the nursery’s caretaker, Khalid Naji, and he described the nursery conditions and progress in caring for the saplings, which were of the almond, olive, fig, carob, cherry, and pomegranate varieties.  Moreover, he showed us various aromatic and medicinal plants cultivated at the center and explained their beneficial properties.  All HAF partner nurseries are raised organically, and HAF encourages sapling recipients to continue to cultivate trees organically, for not only the environmental benefits but also for the increased value of accessing the organic market.

  

When the group of 23 students and their professors from the Spring Arbor University arrived, we began our environmental workshop with a group of boys from the protection center.  The University students came from a variety of majors and they were all interested in increasing their understanding of multiculturalism.

  

Said facilitated a workshop for the boys to better understand their relationship with their environment.  The University students participated by listening and asking the boys questions.  When Said asked the boys about their experiences with the agricultural activities in the center, one boy described how much he liked outdoor activities and how he had learned so much from Khalid about planting trees and using drip-irrigation techniques to water them.  Another boy added how his family used to purchase large trees and manually water them, but after engaging with the centers nursery, he now understands the transformation of trees from seeds and how to use drip-irrigation techniques to more efficiently care for seedlings.  When a University student asked the boys about their favorite part of the tree-rearing process, they nearly simultaneously agreed on the satisfaction of harvesting (and consuming!) tree fruit.

 

Following the workshop—together with the university students and the children—we planted six cherry trees, that the nursery plans to use for seed saving, rather than consumption, contributing to efforts to keep the nursery self-sufficient.

  

In the afternoon, we began loading olive, pomegranate, fig, and almond saplings into a truck for a tree-planting event in Midelt this Thursday.  Prior to loading them, we carefully extracted them from the ground and bagged them to preserve root moisture and, thus, maintain plant viability.

  

Said and Tarik Sadki—a member of the Karama association in Midelt—reminded the boys of the value of their contribution: as the ones who helped sow and care for the saplings, the kids were directly improving and supporting people’s livelihoods for years to come.  The HAF team and the local association are now in Gourrama commune, where we will facilitate environmental workshops and distribute trees to communities.  In this week, we have seen how tree-planting can be a vehicle for promoting cross-collaborative sustainable development, led and defined by communities, involving children, youth, adults, and local associations, to improve people’s lives across regional boundaries.

 

We thank Ecosia for funding the Abdelaziz Ben Driss nursery; without their support, these transformative experiences could not have been possible.
  

 

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Greetings Friends,

 

Here we have a final moment in 2018 where we can give to uplift the course of families, communities, schools, cooperatives, women's groups, and youth.

 

Morocco is creating opportunities for its people by encouraging through its policies and programs public participation in all aspects of development. For local communities of the nation to fulfill this enormous opening for transformative change, also means that Morocco can become a hugely important model for other countries of Africa and the Middle East.

 

Here is one action we can take now together to fulfill this hope:

 

It is amazing the varied and profound benefits of organic fruit tree planting.  It promotes livelihoods, the environment, food security, nutrition, trade, culture, and self-reliance. It promotes women's liberationyouth’s advancement, and - when we organic certify their cultivation - tree planting brings growth and justice to communities that are marginalized.

 

Plant with us now before the season ends in March. Together we can achieve these truly good outcomes for people and nature, and to realize Moroccan dreams.

 

Most of all, we at the High Atlas Foundation wish you health, success, joy, fulfillment, and all that your heart seeks for yourselves and communities.

 

With warm regards and gratitude,

 

Yossef Ben-Meir
President
High Atlas Foundation
yossef@highatlasfoundation.org

 

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Morocco Loses $174m Annually Due to Climate Change

The Global Climate Risk Index 2019, published on 27th November, revealed that over the period 1998-2017, Morocco lost $174m annually due to climatic hazards, considerably impacting GDP. It also ranks 124th in the world for countries facing climate risk and 108th for climate-related deaths.

Morocco scores alongside countries such as Malta, the Maldives, Namibia and Lebanon.

Read more:  https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2018/12/259824/climate-risks-morocco-174-million-annually/

 

Climate Change Performance Index Ranks Morocco 2nd in World

The new Climate Change Performance Index for 2019 has ranked Morocco as the 2nd-best performing country in the world, scoring 70.48, behind Sweden, who scored 76.28.

Morocco performed excellently in all categories, scoring ‘high’ in GHG emissions, renewable energy, energy use and climate policy.

Saudi Arabia and the USA came bottom of the table.

Read Morehttps://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2018/12/260052/morocco-climate-change-performance-index/

 

International Finance Corporation and Cluster Solaire Launch Climate Entrepreneurship Programme

This initiative, jointly funded by Cluster Solaire (Moroccan association of solar energy) and International Finance Corporation (part of the World Bank), will help to increase the capacity and skill of Moroccan renewable energy start-ups. It will also strengthen the solar energy company development ecosystem, to expand the market of environmentally sound technologies, to create new jobs and mitigate climate change.

Read morehttps://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2018/12/259372/ifc-cluster-solaire-fund-renewable-energy-startups-in-morocco/

 

Irrigation Experiment to Tackle Water Scarcity in Souss-Massa

In the last 40 years, water availability per person per year in Morocco has dropped by 2000m3 to just 500m3 due to global warming. In the Souss-Massa area of Morocco, which provides 60% of the country’s citrus exports, the two main groundwater aquifers, which feed the agriculture sector, have seen a sharp decline since 2000.

In response, the region has begun an innovative irrigation experiment to combat this problem, in line with the Plan Maroc Vert’s ambitions to reduce water usage in farming by 50% and to convert 550,000ha of land to drip-irrigation.

To work effectively, and prevent over-exploitation of water, drip-irrigation technology must be coupled with water consumption quotas, water meters and a billing system adapted to water availability. In Souss-Massa, weather stations are used, covering a 2000ha radius which records weather data daily, helping farmers estimate their water need based on the rate of evaporation predicted. This helps them save water use by over 25% and on energy-related expenses.

Read morehttps://www.thehindubusinessline.com/scaling-up/moroccos-irrigation-revolution-against-global-warming/article25598273.ece

 

Moroccans Prefer to Consume Local Products

A new survey, conducted by the Economist and Sunergia, found that 60% of respondents opt to buy Moroccan domestic brands and products- mostly because of the cost of imported products. 70% of rural respondents preferred local products, whilst the majority of 15-34 year olds prefer foreign imports.

Read Morehttps://www.leconomiste.com/article/1037126-enquete-l-economiste-sunergia-les-marocains-preferent-consommer-local

 

Increased Production in Moroccan Citrus Harvests

Moroccan citrus production has increased by 18% over the previous year, reaching 2.6 million tons, due to good weather conditions and an increase in the total harvested area.

Read morehttps://www.fas.usda.gov/data/morocco-citrus-annual-3

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January is the traditional tree-planting season in Morocco, meaning that right now, the High Atlas Foundation (HAF) is gearing up to take on new tree-planting project ideas that are springing up across the country. Last week, I joined Errachid, HAF’s project manager, on his site visits to find out more about these projects, how they will benefit local communities and their contribution to sustainable development. 

“Ait Ourir Bridge Center”, Ait Ourir

One beneficiary of HAF’s project will be the “Ait Ourir Bridge Center”, a language school for both children and adults in the town. Students here learn English in intensive 3-month programmes, and also have the opportunity to take part in exchanges with foreign students, namely those with English as their native language, to share cultural and linguistic experiences.

The project’s aim is to sign a partnership with six schools in the locality, who have asked for fruit trees to be planted in their grounds. The schools will then sell the fruit in order to reinvest the money into other projects. The exchange students and the Bridge Center’s students will conduct the planting together, to benefit simultaneously from knowledge of planting and learning a language. It is also hoped that there will be many activities and workshops surrounding the tree-planting involving the school-children.

HAF is forging a link between the AOBC and their project, covering the costs of the tree-planting and nurseries, as well as providing other incentives for participation in the project, such as sanitation and clean water. It is also hoped that the project will engage the Delegation of Education and the Governor of the region in the activities to highlight the importance of environmental education.

 

“Centre Pour le Sauvegarde de l’Enfance”, Marrakech

The Centre for the Protection of Children, or “Centre Pour le Sauvegarde de l’Enfance” in Marrakech is home to 35 boys and 45 girls under 18 years of age. It is both a home for children who have been involved in criminal activities or those who have nowhere else to go, and responsible for these children’s re-education and day-to-day care.

The Centre would like to plant trees in its grounds to be able to sell the fruits for additional income, to provide quality educational activities for the children. The project will consist of approximately 50 olive and carob trees over an area of 15m2. They also wish to start a tree nursery on the site in future.

HAF hopes to also conduct workshops with these children to work out their needs and assess where it is appropriate to provide assistance alongside the tree-planting project.

 

Bouchane Secondary School, Bouchane

Currently educating 1102 students, Bouchane school is a previous beneficiary of HAF projects. In 2014, HAF helped the school to plant 300 olive, pomegranate and lemon trees as well as herbaceous and medicinal shrubs.

It now wants to expand its project by starting up a pilot tree nursery for the region, equipped with a greenhouse and with water-saving measures. Over time, they hope that the nursery will provide trees for farmers, other schools and co-operatives in the region, and even further afield.

They will focus on planting olive and carob trees, as they are both suitable for the dry soils of the province, but also generate good income. This money will then be used to reinvest in other projects which will benefit the school.

Like the Ait Ourir Bridge Center, the Bouchane school also want to involve the governor of the province as well as other officials in the project and to sign a partnership agreement with the Delegation for Education.

 

Miara Jewish Cemetery, Marrakech

Inside this peaceful walled cemetery in the heart of Marrakech, a tree-planting project is underway. The guardians wish to plant 60 olive and 30 carob trees in the grounds of the cemetery, lining the walkways and providing shade over the area.

Preparations are already underway, with holes dug into the ground and an irrigation system set up to provide water for the saplings when they arrive.

The fruit trees will help to make guardianship of the cemetery, a place which has remain unvandalised for over 500 years, a financially viable position for the future.

  

Tagelft Lycée and Middle School, Tagelft

Due to deforestation and the removal of vegetation, soil erosion is a big problem in the High Atlas Mountains. Snowmelt in the spring can also lead to bad flooding, also partly due to the lack of trees.

The remote mountain community of Tagelft is hoping to combat this problem in part by commencing a tree-planting project in both its Lycée and its Middle School. This will help to stabilise soils and to provide a greener and more attractive learning environment for its pupils.

Although this project is still in its infancy, it is hoped that the site could host between 300-500 trees, seedlings of which could be given to local farmers to supplement incomes and instigate a culture of tree-planting in the region. It will also provide the opportunity to deliver workshops on environmental education and to raise awareness of the importance of trees for mountain communities.

 

Manon is a post-graduate student of Human Ecology at Lund University, Sweden

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The planting season, which starts Morocco in December and concludes in March, is like no other time of year. It offers a window for sowing the best of benefits this world could offer--sustenance, livelihoods, flourishing nature, and justice, for now and for generations. This precious time opens its door in just six weeks, and for the sake of doing all we can to reap its benefits, we must prepare.


The High Atlas Foundation has the enormous responsibility to transplant from its nurseries nearly one million organic fruit saplings with family farmers and schools in all regions of Morocco.  And then, we must replant more than one million in those expanding nurseries.

It is truly no understatement to say that your partnership will not only help us achieve this goal for rural communities in all parts of the nation, but also the dreams of the incalculable more who so eagerly seek and need this opportunity.

If you have been inclined to give, please give nowIf you have felt the urge to immerse your hands in earth, please do so with us. Tree planting is about women's empowerment,intercultural solidarityand youth's opportunity.


We kindly ask, try your best to plant where you are, and with us.

Wishing you happy planting, now and forever,

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Organization Information

High Atlas Foundation

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AtlasHigh
Project Leader:
Yossef Ben-Meir
President of the High Atlas Foundation
Marrakech, Morocco
$38,052 raised of $50,000 goal
 
467 donations
$11,948 to go
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