The project is the first of its kind in this particular area, the Messguina forest in the southwestern part of Morocco and spans over 20 hectares, or 40 football fields if you like. The project has a lifespan of two years with inauguration in March 2016.
The main activities in the project are:
How the activities will be conducted:
The goals that will be achieved through the activities
The argan forest is a unique ecosystem with the combination of subtropical temperatures and mist from the Atlantic Ocean. The forest gained UNESCO recognition in 1998 when it became protected as a World Biosphere Reserve. The tree is very hard to transplant which makes reforestation efforts difficult and almost impossible to grow on a valuable scale outside of Morocco.
Today, the argan forest is diminishing rapidly and stands in great danger of eventually disappearing. During the course of the last century alone, the argan forest’s area has diminished by more than half while tree density in some areas is sixty-percent lower than it was only fifty years ago.
For centuries, the indigenous Amazigh women of Morocco have produced organ oil for culinary and cosmetic purposes to treat various ailments. Argan oil is a bi-product extracted from kernels inside the fruits of the argan tree.
The oil has traditionally been made within Amazigh households exclusively by manual labor using stone hand grinders. The oil was, and still is in some cases, sold by the women’s spouses and children on the side of the road or at the local markets, often highly underpriced, making the oil just a supplement to the household income.