Portail de l'appui aux politiques et de la gouvernance

Case study

Final evaluation of the project “Conservation of biodiversity and mitigation of land degradation through adaptive management of agricultural heritage systems". Project code: GCP/MOR/044/GFF GEF ID: 5481

Morocco has a diverse and varied landscape, as part of the Mediterranean basin. Nevertheless, the country's valuable biodiversity, including the Atlas Mountains and its oasis systems, is threatened. 30 000 hectares of plant cover are thus lost each year in Morocco; this has significant consequences on the various species that depend on this cover for their protection, and creates a vicious circle. Biodiversity conservation and mitigation of land degradation through adaptive management of agricultural heritage systems are a priority for the country. To face these challenges, between April 2015 and December 2019, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with the contribution of the Government of Morocco through its multiple Action Plans; the effective involvement of the technical units of the central, regional and provincial Directorates of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development (MAPM), and Water and Forests (MAPMDREF), have implemented a project with the participation of the populations of the various communities concerned.

Project activities were carried out at five oasis sites. The contribution of the project to the current political discourse on oases and the pioneering role in the use of Globally important agricultural heritage system (GIAHS) certification are important achievements. However, although the project appears innovative and timely, its relevance could have been strengthened with a more balanced intervention logic in terms of its objectives and the duration of its implementation. The project relies on GIAHS certification to achieve its objectives, but due to delays with the project start-up, and the dispersed and isolated nature of the sites, not all of the certification processes were successful despite being initiated. This created disparities in opportunities. Beyond the labelling of crops, the project aimed to promote biodiversity integration into markets, notably through organic farming. However, several activities remain incomplete, compromising the project’s effectiveness. The project suffers from poor communication, both internally and externally. As progress on the sites is uneven, the sustainability of the project interventions is also uneven; however, the promotion of oasis cultures needs to be supported and sustained.

Also available in French.

Near East & North Africa