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March 19th, 2007

Its Royal Highness the Princess Lalla Hasnaa, President of the Mohammed VI Foundation for the Environmental protection, launches the Programme of Safeguard and Rehabilitation of the Palm plantation of Marrakech

Her Royal Highness the Princess Lalla Hasnaa, President of Mohammed VI Foundation for the Protection of Environment, launched the program for safeguarding and rehabilitating the Marrakech palm grove.

During this ceremony, Her Royal Highness the Princess has read the Royal letter addressed by His Majesty the King on this occasion.

In this letter, His Majesty the King paid tribute to the Foundation’s actions and to the personal commitment of its President, Her Royal Highness the Princess Lalla Hasnaa.

The Royal letter presented an evaluation of the present situation and the stakes that have pushed His Majesty to entrust Mohammed VI Foundation for the Protection of Environment with the task of coordinating the initiatives in order to bring this important project to a successful conclusion.   In fact, the Royal letter underlines the following : “the Marrakech palm grove, a symbolic natural patrimony of important value, that goes back to the time of the Almoravids, gives to the red city a specific identity contributing to its international reputation. However, it has been exposed to deterioration and damages related mainly to dryness, population growth and urbanization.

The Royal letter outlines the important orientations of the program: planting, improving the existing palm trees conditions and growing people awareness.

After the reading of the Royal letter, Mr. Tijani, the Vice-president of the Foundation has presented the actions undertaken till now, according to the Royal orientations, while specifying that a global plan spreading over six years, proposed by the Wali of Marrakech, is federating today many wholly involved public and private partners, in order to put into effect the program for safeguarding and rehabilitating the Marrakech palm grove within the spirit of sustainable development.

The program, evaluated at almost 96, 000, 000 dhs, plans to create an eco-museum in the Hassan II Oasis to make of it a cultural space for environmental education turning around three main themes : water, cultures of oases and land architecture.

The Wali of Marrakech has afterwards presented the global perspectives of the palm grove  development and its integration within the tourist development  strategy of the city.

This meeting has been the occasion to sign, under the presidency of Her Royal Highness, the partnership conventions with different institutions and operators determined to support this program, among them: the General Department for Local Authorities (DGCL), the Wilaya and the City of Marrakech, the High Department for Water and Forests (HCEF), the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), Med Z, the Regional Company for Building and Development (ERAC Tensift) the Cherifian Office for Phosphates (OCP) , Cements of Morocco (Ciments du Maroc), the National Office for Drinkable Water (ONEP), the CDG Foundation, the ONA Foundation, the Moroccan Agricultural Mutual Insurance (MAMDA), the “Credit agricole” Bank as well as the association for safeguarding and developing the Marrakech palm grove which commits itself in popularizing the program among the inhabitants and investors and in supporting the local associations working in the palm grove.

Another convention has finally been signed with the City Council of Elche in Spain, which will bring its know-how and support through encouraging the scientific exchanges between researchers in the two cities.


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