This online virtual story includes a selection of visual outputs produced by the High Atlas Cultural Landscapes Programme over the past years. Visual outputs include photo stories, videos, booklets, and much more portraying different activities and results of the Programme. The contents included are mostly in English, with some in French, Dariya and Tamazight (with translations).

Please, hover over the image and select one of the 5 areas included: plants and cultural practices; animals and pastures; cooking and food; local product commercialization and cooperatives; and research & action. Within each area, a "menu" will appear, with the multiple visual outputs available as miniatures. Select the one you prefer. Enjoy!

“The HACL programme is a pioneer initiative for biocultural conservation in North Africa, bringing together local cultures, traditions and know-how with scientific knowledge and technical expertise for sustainable landscape management for the benefit of nature and people. I am pleased to have been associated with the programme since its early stages, and to continue supporting it.”
-Gonzalo Oviedo, Mediterranean Programme Manager for Cultural Landscapes, MAVA Foundation
Credits: Concept by GDF. Main drawing by Daniel Mosca. Photographs by Inanc Tekguc, Eda Elif Tibet, Pommelien Da Silva Cosme & Ibtissam Bouseta. Videos by Eda Elif Tibet & Inanc Tekguc. Virtual story design by Othmane Jmad. Interactive map design by Giandanielle Castangia. Infographics by Divya Venkatesh. Various authors for other visual outputs and publications.
Cooking and Food Plants and cultural practices Animals and pastures Local product commercialization and cooperatives Research and action

Cooking and Food

High Atlas gastronomy and cooking is based on proximity products, both of plant and animal origins, which provide a myriad of recipes, dishes and teas.

These culinary transformations, mostly occurring in kitchens and fireplaces allow for local foods to be shared with the household, extended family and in celebrations.

Photo story: Preserving cultural heritage

Video: Traditional Recipes: Bread making in traditional Amazigh Oven

Video: Traditional Recipes: Toummit Tabrommiyt

Video: Traditional Recipes: Couscous

Photo story: Med food heroes

Booklet: Med food heroes cookbook

Booklet: Le panier Amazigh

“Being part of the HACL program team is like being part of a family. What I really appreciate is that I have the opportunity to gain so much new knowledge through my work, and I have met so many interesting people. My community in Aït M’hamed has also benefited a lot from the program, especially regarding the valorisation of local plants”
- Touda Atyha, Community Researcher Ait M’hamed

Plants and cultural practices

Plants and their ecosystems play an essential role in Amazigh livelihoods, with multiple cultural practices associated with them. Whether located in natural and semi-natural environments, or in agricultural terraces, arboreal, shrubby, and herbaceous species provide food, fodder, medicine, and other materials to local families.

We include here a selection of visual outputs relating to plants, and the conservation and development activities carried out by the Programme.

Photo story: Growing seeds of resilience

Photo story: Savoirs ancestraux

Video: Les pratiques bioculturelles a Imegdal

Booklet: Plantes médicinales d’Imegdale

Story map: Measuring impact in Cultural Landscapes of the M6 OAP/ AMNC

Story map: High Atlas Cultural Landscapes GIS data

“I feel proud when I talk with community members that one part of our work within the HACL program focuses on preserving traditional seeds and documenting them. I enjoy exchanging experiences and listening to local people as they share their knowledge on seeds and I discovered so much history.”
- Nihad Aasimi, Regional Community Researcher, Azilal

Animals and pastures

Animal husbandry and pastoral livelihoods are at the core of Amazigh life. Since millennia, semi-nomadic and nomadic lifestyles have shaped the landscapes of the High Atlas, despite the transformations and transitions occurred.

Agdals, i.e., communal summer pastures with complex customary rules and institutions and highly biodiverse,  constitute the epitome of pastoral lifestyles in Morocco. A series of visual outputs regarding these spaces are provided next.

Photo story: Transhumance in the High Atlas

Photo story: Territories of life on the edge

Video: Ait Atta film trailer

Video: Ait Atta transhumance journey

Photo story: On the long trail

“I feel constantly inspired by the knowledge and traditional practices High Atlas communities apply to manage their land, and their complex relationship with nature. The HACL program not only responds to environmental issues that threaten local communities and landscapes, it also celebrates and highlights the cultural value and natural richness of the region.”
- Pommelien da Silva Cosme, GDF Morocco Programme Director

Local product commercialization and cooperatives

Local products are exchanged in local and regional markets (souks), allowing household economies to sustain their livelihoods. Cooperatives play a key role in the commercialization of produce, and the Programme has been collaborating with them to improve and sustain initiatives supporting biocultural diversity conservation and development.

A few activities carried out with local cooperatives are provided next.

Photo story: Cheese. Honey. Argan. Saffron & More.

Video: Harvest festival teaser

Video: Cooperatives: Azilal Region

Video: Cooperatives: Demnate Region

Video: Cooperatives: Al Haouz Hub

Photo story: High Atlas Food Market, 1st edition

Website: Marrakech Harvest Festival website

“What inspires me in the HACL program is that it is unlike other programs simply because it embraces all life cycles of biodiversity: from conservation of local biodiversity to ensuring the economic viability of this biodiversity as well as its direct impact on the natural environment and local communities”
- Meryam Aakairi, MBLA Field Agronomist

Research and action

Over the years, the Programme has produced a number of dissemination documents and materials, academic and non-academic, provided here.

These include research and actions carried out by the team in collaboration with local communities and partners. Additional documents and materials can be found in the resources page of this website.

HACL interactive map

Placing the High Atlas on the global map. A visual journey (58 pp.)

Placing the High Atlas on the global map. Main publication (190 pp.)

High Atlas Biocultural Database

Video: Mentoring training with High Atlas coops

Photo story: Supporting High Atlas Biodiversity

HACL infographics

“Local and regional community researchers have played an essential role in the High Atlas Cultural Landscapes programme since its inception, facilitating and consolidating its participatory nature and allowing to build local capacities surrounding biocultural conservation and development which have had a multiplicative effect on the High Atlas region and beyond.”
- Ugo D’Ambrosio, GDF Scientific and Technical Advisor.