Major Workshop Discusses Forest Resource Management



Ifrane, August 29, 2012 – In cooperation with the International Development Research Center (IDRC) and the Moroccan School of Forestry Engineering (ENFI) in Sale, Al Akhawayn University launched today, at Al Akhawayn campus in Ifrane, a national dissemination workshop entitled Participative and Adaptive Experimentation of Management Models for Forestry Resources in the Atlas Mountains of Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. 

About 70 researchers and scientists from the National Institute of Forestry Research in Algiers, the National Institute of Agricultural Engineering Research, Water and Forests in Tunis, and Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane gathered for the workshop.

“It is important for us to meet today with all stakeholders in the project, including decision makers and NGOs in order to share and evaluate the results achieved by the three partner institutions in as far as forestry resource management is concerned,” said Ahmed Legrouri, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Al Akhawayn. 

Funded by the IDRC, the project focuses on the sustainable development and enhancement of agricultural and non-agricultural forest resources to improve the living conditions of the populations of the Atlas mountain chain extending along the three Maghreb countries participating in the project: Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco. In Morocco, field work has been carried out in the rural area of Dayet Aoua, 15km away from Ifrane. 

The forest resource management project was launched in 2009 with the objective of finding appropriate solutions to improve forest management and reduce poverty in specific Atlas communities. Adapting social learning and a management approach in the development of forest areas, the project constitutes an alternative to traditional methods and addresses the management of natural resources in the Maghreb countries in a more comprehensive way.

Among its objectives, the project aims at strengthening the capacity of research teams in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia through the introduction of innovative approaches to forest management such as adaptive management, social analysis and gender analysis. It also aims at analyzing and evaluating past actions and establishing a diagnosis in the three study regions of the project on aspects related to the state and management of forest resources, as well as the social and economic conditions of their local inhabitants.

“Today’s meeting has two dimensions. It is an opportunity to share the results achieved so far, and it is an important step towards the future,” said Hammou Laamrani, Senior Program Officer at the Agriculture and Food Security Program, IDRC. 

With the support of the IDRC and other major governmental and non-governmental institutions, Al Akhawayn University has been able to initiate and implement several development projects in the region of Ifrane and the Middle Atlas. Its commitment to contribute to local and regional development has driven Al Akhawayn to establish applied research in forestry management, water resource management, e-gov services, and more.

The workshop will continue over Thursday, August 30, 2012 with a regional workshop, involving participants from Algeria and Tunisia.