Participatory land resources planning to promote sustainable landscape management in rainfed areas-Morocco

Ziadat, Feras; Berkat, Omar; Ouchna, Rochdi; Touami, Mouna; Fetsi, Theodora; Harari, Nicole; Mekdaschi Studer, Rima; Schlingloff, Stefan (2022). Participatory land resources planning to promote sustainable landscape management in rainfed areas-Morocco. Frontiers in sustainable food systems, 6 Frontiers 10.3389/fsufs.2022.848043

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Land degradation and desertification affect around one-third of the land used for agriculture, undermining productivity, and farmers' livelihoods, and resilience. People in rainfed and dryland areas are the most vulnerable to the environmental and social impacts of degradation, yet opportunities to expand agricultural areas in order to meet the needs of an ever-growing population are limited and/or not feasible. On the bright side, there are opportunities to avoid, reduce and reverse land degradation (LD), however, it will require identifying areas that are suited to implement sustainable land management (SLM) practices and create an enabling environment that encourages such initiatives. In Morocco, latest available data from 2015 showed that 19 percent of its land over the total land area is degraded. In order to assess the level of degradation in rainfed landscapes of Morocco and identify the appropriate technological solutions in response to the driving forces and pressures, and to come up with a territorial planning strategy, analyses were carried out at different levels to identify the land degradation “hot spots” as well as the SLM “bright spots.” This paper sheds light on the decision support framework, co-developed with partners and applied in Morocco, the findings from national and subnational assessments of LD, as well as the process of participatory planning in selected communities of the Souss-Massa region for evaluation and scaling up of SLM good practices. The process led to the development of a “Territorial Planning Pact” as a tool for land use planning and a 3-year action plan to help decision-makers implement and mainstream SLM in the selected communities and guide similar processes throughout the region. The “Territorial Planning Pact” forms a base for planning and implementing the development program in the region led by key stakeholders. The paper presents the actions taken and concludes by highlighting the importance of integrating both biophysical and socio-economic information in a multi-level participatory process to identify the actions and responsibilities of various stakeholders and ensure sustainable management of limited natural resources and improved livelihoods for all.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Harari, Nicole, Mekdaschi, Rima






[487] Decision Support for Mainstreaming and Scaling Out Sustainable Land Management
[803] Cluster: Land Resources




Melchior Peter Nussbaumer

Date Deposited:

23 Aug 2022 15:44

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 16:22

Publisher DOI:





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