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Sustainable Development in Northern Africa: The Argan Forest Case

Author

Listed:
  • Zoubida Charrouf

    () (Laboratoire de Chimie des Plantes, Faculté des Sciences, Université Mohammed V-Agdal, BP1014, Rabat, Morocco)

  • Dom Guillaume

    () (CNRS-UMR6229, 51 Rue Cognacq Jay, 51100 Reims, France)

Abstract

The argan tree is a slow growing tree exclusively endemic in the dry lowlands of Southwest Morocco. The argan forest constitutes a long time ignored specific biotope that has been declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1998. The argan forest is particularly fragile to climate change. Forecasts show annual precipitation levels and prolonged drought periods that could severely threaten the future of the argan forest. In some places, the argan forest is already damaged, resulting in the retreat of the argan tree and the subsequent desert encroachment. An acceleration of this trend would have devastating consequences. In response, some twenty years ago, an ambitious, unique in Northern-Africa, and government-supported program was initiated in Morocco to rescue the argan tree via the sustainable development of the argan forest. Because in the late 1980s, sustainable development in developing countries was often considered as a utopia, the argan forest case represents a sign of progress, as it is also an interesting and unique experience in Africa. This review analyses the process followed, the measures taken, the pitfalls encountered, and the results obtained during the last two decades. It also points out the measures that still need to be taken before declaring the argan forest rescue mission is accomplished.

Suggested Citation

  • Zoubida Charrouf & Dom Guillaume, 2009. "Sustainable Development in Northern Africa: The Argan Forest Case," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 1(4), pages 1-11, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:1:y:2009:i:4:p:1012-1022:d:6145
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Zahir Dossa, 2012. "Cooperatives: A Development Strategy? An Analysis of Argan Oil Cooperatives in Southwest Morocco," Euricse Working Papers 1229, Euricse (European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    argan forest; argan oil; Amazigh; woman cooperative; Morocco;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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