Morocco Natural Resources Management and Community Development
This document is a summary report of the U.S. Peace Corps Morocco’s “Natural Resources Management and Community Development” project concerning the Commune of Imin’tlit in the Province of Essaouira. Imin’tlit is situated within the Arganerae Biosphere Reserve in the valley to the north of Mount Amsittene. This report summarizes the ecology, agriculture, and economics of the region as revealed through participatory analysis and other sources. It also describes several possible development projects for the community.
The Commune of Imin’tlit, while relatively small (population 5,119), has been selected as one focus of an international effort to conserve and manage sensitive areas in the Mediterranean Region. This project, Gestion et conservation des sites sensibles en matiere de biodiversity has a local focus, SMAP/Essaouira, which is headed by ENDA Maghreb. It is a joint effort of several non-governmental organizations (the WWF, The Chouala Association of Education and Culture – ACEC, and the local Imin’tlit Association for the Development and Protection of the Environment) as well as Governmental bodies (Moroccan Department of Water and Forests, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Agriculture) and has received funding from the European Union. In addition to other activities, this project has performed research resulting in the creation of three reports (in French): An environmental diagnostic of the Amsittene Forest, a socio-economic diagnostic of Imin’tlit, and a study of the rural tourism potential of the Province of Essaouira. The centerpiece of the socioeconomic diagnostic is a survey undertaken in 2000 that questioned 90 families (15% of total) in the Douars of Ait Hmad, Ait Skri, and Ait Slib. This survey is the source of most of the statistics (unless noted otherwise) in this report. These reports, in combination with the application of Participatory Analysis for Community Action (PACA) tools for the past two years, have formed the basis of this report.