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Marrakech -October 9, 2018: Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa Visits the Marrakech Palm Grove

Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa, President of the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection, has visited two representative sites of the Programme for the Safeguarding and Development of the Marrakech Palm Grove.

On Monday 9 October 2018, Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa, President of the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection, undertook a working visit to the Marrakech Palm Grove, as part of the Programme for its protection and development.

The Programme, initiated in 2007, is now in its twelfth year and has entered new phases of its development. During her visit, Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa has chosen two stop-overs that illustrate the work currently performed.

During Her first stop on an agricultural plot in the palm grove, Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa had an exchange with farmers from the north-western sector. These farmers come from the 49 families that benefit from an agro-ecology pilot programme launched by the Foundation, implemented by Agrisud International, Norsys Foundation, and financed by the OCP Foundation.

The Programme for the Safeguarding of the Palm Grove includes an important component aimed at raising awareness among the local population and strengthening their participation in the development of this area, which will help them significantly contribute to its conservation. In addition to promoting literacy and basic management skills, but above all providing technical support and training for crops and livestock, this programme is an opportunity for the farmers to discover a new way of performing their centuries-old occupation that is more respectful of the environment and also more profitable. These farmers themselves described to Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa the skills and techniques they learned in the areas of soil conservation, agrobiodiversity, water and energy.

This initiative in favour of farmers is the latest in a series of actions designed to support the underprivileged communities of the palm grove and to raise their awareness of the importance of preserving the environment in which they live. These actions include, among other things, the deployment of the Foundation's flagship programmes such as Eco-Schools (8 Eco-Schools of which 5 have received the Green Flag Label), Young Reporters for the Environment (2 international award-winning reports), or more targeted actions such as the distribution of 800 bicycles to children to go to school, or the creation of an Observatory of the Palm Grove composed of local residents.

Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa then visited a water storage basin for irrigation, an essential component of an original and exemplary system for the irrigation of new plants in the palm grove with the partially treated waters of the Marrakech STEP (water treatment plant). After planting 580,000 palm trees in the palm grove, the Foundation is now working to maintain and irrigate them.HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa also attended the filling of a tank with the purified waters of the basin, with which she symbolically watered a palm tree planted together by her and six women from the villages of the Palm Grove.

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