International Argane Day: Morocco’s Efforts, Source of Inspiration for International Community (FAO)
Rome – The celebration of the International Argane Tree Day and the efforts of Morocco for the preservation of this forest species constitute a source of inspiration for the international community, underlined, on Monday, deputy director general of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Maria Helena Semedo.
“I congratulate Morocco once again for the celebration of this international day and for the joint efforts made by all the stakeholders and which represent a real source of inspiration for the international community”, affirmed Semedo who was speaking via videoconference as part of a high-level event organized by Morocco and the United Nations to celebrate the first International Argane Tree Day.
This celebration is “a great opportunity not only to celebrate this important event, but also to draw attention to the status and importance of an emblematic forest species” of Morocco, she stressed.
Of course, if this species is internationally known today, it is mainly for its nourishing, cosmetic, and therapeutic oil. However, the value of this tree goes far beyond: the Argane tree is a symbol of adaptation and a harmonious co-evolution between rural communities and an arid agricultural system of the Anti-Atlas plateaus, she commented.
“A pillar of a complex agricultural ecosystem, this tree is the keystone of a unique landscape where farmers and shepherds coexist, revealing their innovative spirit and their know-how,” she said.
Thanks to these exceptional characteristics, these agricultural and pastoral systems were recognized as ingenious systems of the world’s agricultural heritage by the FAO in 2018, not only for their know-how and unique biodiversity, but also for the sustainable management of natural resources and landscapes shaped over generations by agricultural and pastoral communities, said Semedo.
She pointed out, in this sense, that the Argane tree contributes to food security, nutrition, income generation and more generally to the livelihood of rural communities.
For the Deputy Director General of FAO, “the Argane tree is promising for the achievement of sustainable development and for facing current and future challenges by strengthening the resilience and empowerment of rural women, thanks to the production of Argane oil, as well as to its related tourism”.
“The potential linked to the Argane tree, including the eradication of poverty, climate action, the fight against desertification, the sustainable use of biodiversity, economic growth, job creation, health, and the well-being of communities, is at the heart of FAO’s new strategies and sustainable development goals,” she said.
While welcoming the fruitful cooperation between Morocco and FAO, she noted that “these actions are only the first stones of the edifice that we are building together in our mission of promoting a resilient and inclusive sustainable agriculture”.