El Mouddaa Adaptation Initiative, Morocco

The context

The El Mouddaa adaptation initiative in Morocco was designed and implemented through a comprehensive participatory and inclusive approach, with the objective of strengthening the resilience of the local community. The project fosters sustainable land and water management, resilient farming practices and community early warning techniques, which help the El Mouddaa community better deal with current and future climate challenges. While the elders are the local authority, this project was managed by an organization of young people under 30, with the elders giving them legitimacy to take leadership.

The project

This community-based adaptation project aims at sustainably increasing the well-being of the local community through the protection of critical village infrastructure and strengthening of local food security. As part of the project young people strategically built rock dams to reduce the floodwater flow and damages to village infrastructure and buried the main irrigation line to reduce the vulnerability of local farming by ensuring permanent irrigation water flow. Traditional subsistence to strengthen food security was also reintroduced.

In addition, through local consultation and awareness-raising, this youth-led project helped the community set aside large sections of land around the village for conservation, reforestation and re-vegetation. It also outlawed grazing of herds in and around the village in an effort to protect and sustain native shrubs and grasses. The re-vegetation improved soil and reduced erosion flash flooding risks. The project is also testing a user-friendly low-cost technology in water and sanitation to prevent hazardous chemicals from contaminating irrigation water, damaging soils and crop production. These activities contribute to environmental protection, more sustainable natural resource management and preservation of ecosystem services.

Furthermore, the project installed an early flash flood alarm system in order to support community-based disaster risk management. A key achievement of this initiative is that it has managed to engage all members of the community in taking part in adaptation to climate change, in a context where participation remains one of the key field challenges. This project won the Equator Prize in 2012 for Community-Based Adaptation. 

Name of organization: Association Amsing with support from the UNDP-implemented GEF Small Grants Programme
Name of contact person: Said Zirri
E-mail: moudaa01@hotmail.com