Of the 121 countries which applied this year, Morocco is one of the three laureates of the Equator Prize, thanks to the action of AGIR association, an IUCN Member.
The Moroccan association of Integrated Resource Management (AGIR) is one of the three laureates whose environmental actions have been rewarded by the famous Equator prize for the North Africa and Middle East regions.
The association, which works to conserve Mediterranean ecosystems via the involvement of local actors, has been rewarded for its work with artisanal fishermen. So, what makes their work stand out? For the association, “The innovation consists in the participation of artisanal fishermen in the control of the fish resources through the implementation of a monitoring system and the adoption of the “Marine Protected Areas” approach, which have permitted to strengthen the resilience of fishermen, especially through the improvement of incomes and resource security (sustainable fishing)”.
In terms of adaptation, the project reinforced the resilience capacity of artisanal fishermen and their wives in front of global change, through:
• Conversion of the fishermen towards sustainable fishing methods and fishing of new species of high added value
• Diversification of income generating activities (sustainable fishing, enhancement of sea products, couture)
• Financial empowerment of the fishermen’s wives
• Integration of the fishermen in the eradication of illegal fishing
About the Equator Prize
Organized by the United Nations Program for Development (UNPD), the Equator Prize follows a will to identify and enhance community based initiatives, which succeed in combining environmental conservation with the fight against poverty.
During the last 12 years, the prize has rewarded actions belonging to very different fields; from agriculture and agricultural cooperatives, to fauna protection projects, including marine protected areas and seed banks.
The Equator initiative is a partnership gathering diverse actors such as the United Nations, governments, civil society organizations, enterprises and community organizations, in order “to advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities”.