The Moroccan Atlas : High-Atlas, Middle Atlas, Anti-Atlas
The Moroccan Atlas is a natural barrier between the rather green North and the dry South,
gate to the Sahara desert.
The Atlas is made of three different ranges streching from the North-East to the South-West
of the country:
The Middle-Atlas which culminates at 3200 m in the North-Eastern part of Morocco, South of Fez (Middle-Atlas slideshow)
The High-Atlas which reaches an elevation of nearly de 4200 m at Mount Toubkal South of Marrakech. (High-Atlas slideshow)
The Anti-Atlas which stretches between Ouarzazate and the plain of Souss, South of Agadir.
The Atlas range offers grandiose and dramatic sceneries moulded by nature and shaped into harmonious landscapes
by centuries of human presence despite harsh climatic conditions. This natural heritage is a great chance for the Moroccan biodiversity which
benefits from a wide variety of climates and geographical conditions giving birth to many endemic species. It is also the main source
of water for the country.
But this unique natural heritage is threatened by human pressure (overgrazing...) and climate change.
Morocco has increased measures to protect this heritage but it will be long and difficult and it requires the help of everyone.
The Middle-Atlas is home of two national parks, the National Park of Ifrane and
the National Park of Tazekka, both sheltering some of the nicest cedar tree forests of Morocco.
The High-Atlas is home of the Toubkal National Park and
The Eastern High Atlas National Park.
Developing the demand for organic farm products can be an excellent way to ensure sustainable development and to keep the biodiversity
in rural mountain regions. For example some honey cooperative farms such as the "honey
cooperatives of Bouiblan and el Khayn" produce high quality natural and medicinal honey from a large variety of wild plants
and flowers like thym, rosmary or "buplerum spinosum", an endemic pant of the Middle Atlas. Protecting the biodiversity means being
able to continue to produce high quality honey.