What is a Seed Bank?

HINT: In the High Atlas in Morocco seed banks help communities and farmers to be more resistant to climate change and emergencies.

#RootedEveryday

HINT: In the High Atlas in Morocco seed banks help communities and farmers to be more resistant to climate change and emergencies.

#RootedEveryday

The High Atlas Mountain landscapes of Morocco are home to a rich cultural heritage and biodiversity including endemic, endangered and economically important plant species. For millennia, these landscapes have been looked after by indigenous Amazigh communities whose livelihoods depend on the land.  Today, the biodiversity of the region and this way of life are under threat from climate change, loss of traditional knowledge and sustainable land practices, inadequate water management and rapid socioeconomic change, amongst others.

Global Diversity Foundation (GDF) and our local collaborator Moroccan Biodiversity and Livelihoods Association (MBLA) work with local communities to conduct participatory and community-led research to build up our knowledge base of High Atlas plants and the traditional practices used to sustain them. With this knowledge, we design and implement locally appropriate actions to halt the loss of biodiversity and strengthen traditional practices of conservation whilst enhancing sustainable opportunities for livelihoods and wellbeing.

© Inanc Tegkuc

The High Atlas Mountain landscapes of Morocco are home to a rich cultural heritage and biodiversity including endemic, endangered and economically important plant species. For millennia, these landscapes have been looked after by indigenous Amazigh communities whose livelihoods depend on the land.  Today, the biodiversity of the region and this way of life are under threat from climate change, loss of traditional knowledge and sustainable land practices, inadequate water management and rapid socioeconomic change, amongst others.

Global Diversity Foundation (GDF) and our local collaborator Moroccan Biodiversity and Livelihoods Association (MBLA) work with local communities to conduct participatory and community-led research to build up our knowledge base of High Atlas plants and the traditional practices used to sustain them. With this knowledge, we design and implement locally appropriate actions to halt the loss of biodiversity and strengthen traditional practices of conservation whilst enhancing sustainable opportunities for livelihoods and wellbeing.

© Inanc Tegkuc

Community Plant Nurseries Seed Banks

Selected tree crops and medicinal plants, such as oregano and rosemary, are cultivated in communally-owned plant nurseries and then distributed to community members for planting in the wild to restore declining populations. Each nursery also has its own seed bank where locally adapted plant species are stored. These act as a form of insurance for local people who can access seeds adapted to different climate conditions and reduce the risk of crop failures.

© Pommelien Da Silva

Sustainable Water Management

We restore traditional water infrastructure to provide irrigation for community nurseries and agricultural land previously unsuitable for cultivation. We also collaborate with local partners to deliver training to local communities and associations on cultivating drought resilient crops and using water economically to improve resilience to climate change and increasingly dry conditions.

Improved Health Care, Education and Employment Opportunities

We train communities in locally appropriate environmental research and management systems, support the sustainable and effective commercialisation of local plant products to increase income, and deliver free annual health consultations and medicine to the most vulnerable. We also provide access to Dar Taliba, an all-girls boarding house, for girls from remote villages. Here, and with the help of students, we have built an ethnobotanical school garden and host hands-on educational activities such as horticulture and botany workshops. Through this project, girls actively engage with local biodiversity conservation and the rediscovery of their local cultural plant heritage is helping to preserve this knowledge for future generations.

Growing the Next Generation of Girl Conservationists

“I really enjoy working with my hands, especially when we are planting seeds. When we have a break in between classes we often go to the gardens to watch how the vegetables are growing.”

Meryam, aged 12, Dar Taliba student
High Atlas, Morocco

Be #RootedEveryday

Dar Taliba © Da Silva

Growing the Next Generation of Girl Conservationists

“I really enjoy working with my hands, especially when we are planting seeds. When we have a break in between classes we often go to the gardens to watch how the vegetables are growing.”

Meryam, aged 12, Dar Taliba student

High Atlas, Morocco

Be #RootedEveryday

Dar Taliba © Da Silva

Growing the Next Generation of Girl Conservationists

“I really enjoy working with my hands, especially when we are planting seeds. When we have a break in between classes we often go to the gardens to watch how the vegetables are growing.”

Meryam, aged 12, Dar Taliba student
High Atlas, Morocco

Be #RootedEveryday

Dar Taliba © Da Silva

Partners