Essaouira: International Argane Tree Day, Moment of Great Collective Joy (UN Official)
Essaouira – The proclamation by the United Nations of May 10 as an International Argane Tree Day, following a resolution presented by Morocco and co-sponsored by 113 member states, has been “a moment of great joy for all of us,” said on Monday in Essaouira Sylvie Lopez-Ekra, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Morocco.
This proclamation was “the culmination” of a series of recognitions of the exceptional aspect of the Argane tree by the UN, which began in 1988, noted the UN official, who was speaking at the opening of a webinar, initiated by the Mohammed VI Foundation for Argane Tree Research and Preservation (FMVI.RSA), for the celebration of this event.
Indeed, that year, UNESCO designated the Argane trees area as a biosphere reserve, she recalled, adding that in 2014, all the know-how concerning the Argane tree was also included on the prestigious list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
She added that four years later, in December 2018, it was the FAO that recognized the agricultural and pastoral system of the Ait Souab-Ait Mansour zone as an ingenious system of world agricultural heritage.
“So, today, we are celebrating the culmination of international recognition of this unique region, and its oil, +liquid gold+ of Morocco, precious to the whole world,” she said.
For Lopez-Ekra, by celebrating this first International Argane Tree Day, “we also honor women, farmers, entrepreneurs and other lovers of this land, who have contributed to its great resilience through the centuries”.
Lopez-Ekra also praised the tireless efforts made by the Kingdom, in accordance with the High Guidelines of HM King Mohammed VI, through the Mohammed VI Foundation for Argane Tree Research and Preservation (FMVI.RSA) and the National Agency for the Development of Oasis Zones and Argan Trees (ANDZOA).
She also focused on the major role of the Argane tree, its ecosystem and its culture, in achieving the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental -, highlighting the contribution of this sector to the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local and national levels.
Finally, Lopez-Ekra expressed the commitment of the United Nations System in Morocco to the government, local authorities and populations, to work together for the preservation and sustainable and inclusive prosperity of the Argane grove.