Morocco is the only African nation to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines. It has a mountainous northern coast (Rif Mountains), and an interior (Atlas Mountains) bordered by large plateaus with valleys, as well as fertile coastal plains. The highest point in Morocco is Jebel Toubkal at 4,165 meters.
Morocco has a Mediterranean climate, which becomes more extreme in the interior of the country. Natural hazards include geologically unstable northern mountains subject to earthquakes, periodic droughts, windstorms, flash floods, and landslides. Environmental issues include land degradation (soil erosion resulting from farming of marginal areas, overgrazing, and destruction of vegetation), desertification, sewage contaminated water supplies, siltation of reservoirs, as well as oil pollution of coastal waters.
There are 322 protected areas listed for Morocco, including 10 national parks, 1 biological reserve (Merja Zerga), 8 nature reserves, 19 natural parks, 69 sites of biological and ecological interest, 1 waterfowl hunting block (Merja Bargha), 185 permanent hunting reserves, 1 specially protected area of Mediterranean importance (Al Hoceima National Park), 4 biosphere reserves, and 24 wetlands of international importance. National parks are administered by the High Commissioner for Waters and Forests and the Fight Against Desertification, appointed by the King of Morocco (Mohammed VI).
In addition to the 13 official and unofficial Moroccan members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature listed below, Fatima Alaoui the long time leader of the original Moroccan green party, Les Verts Maroc, maintains an active social media presence at twitter.com/vertsmaroc. There are also websites for the party of environment and development, Parti de l’Environnement et du Développement, and the Moroccan green left party, Parti de la Gauche Verte Marocain. There is a popular Facebook group for the tribe of ecologists of Morocco, La tribu des écolos du Maroc, which has spawned its own website at ecologie.ma.
- Arganeraie 1998
- Oasis du sud marocain (Tafilalt) 2000
- Intercontinental BR of the Mediterranean 2006
- Atlas Cedar (Cèdre de l’Atlas) 2016
- Association de Gestion Integrée des Ressources
- Association des Enseignants des Sciences de la Vie et de la Terre
- Association Marocaine pour l`Ecotourisme et la Protection de la Nature
- Association Marocaine pour la Chasse Durable
- Association Marocaine pour la Protection de l`Environnement et le Climat
- Association Ribat Al Fath
- Club Marocain pour l’Environment et le Développement
- Fondation EcoSylva
- Groupe de Recherche pour la Protection des Oiseaux au Maroc
- Haut Commissariat aux Eaux et Forêts et à la Lutte contre la Désertification
- Observatoire pour la Protection de l’Environnement et des Monuments Historiques
- Reseau Association Khnifiss
- Société protectrice des animaux et de la nature
In Morocco, the highest density of population is found along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts; although, there are a number of population centres scattered through the Atlas Mountains. The Alaouite Dynasty, to which the current Moroccan royal family belongs, dates from the 17th century. European colonisation began in the 19th century, with Spain’s occupation of northern Morocco. In the early 20th century, France imposed a protectorate over the country. Morocco gained independence from France in 1956, following a protracted struggle for independence.
Since Spain’s 1976 withdrawal from Western Sahara, Morocco has extended its de facto administrative control to roughly 75% of this territory; however, the UN does not recognise Morocco as the administering power for Western Sahara. Since 1979, the Polisario Front has been recognised by the UN as the representative of the Sahrawi people, advocating for an independent Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. Neighbouring Algeria has supported the Polisario Front since 1975; as a result, the 1,500 kilometre land border between Morocco and Algeria has been shut since 1994.
The Moroccan ministry of tourism, air transport, crafts and social economy (Secrétariat d’Etat chargé du Tourisme) operates the agency for tourism development (Société Marocaine d’ingénierie Touristique) and the national tourist office (Office National Marocain du Tourisme). Other tourism industry organs include the tourism observatory (Observatoire du Tourisme) and the national confederation of tourism (Confédération Nationale du Tourisme).
The rural tourism development network, Réseau de Développement du Tourisme Rural, specialises in the Souss-Massa region, out of Agadir. Berber Trekking and Morocco Ecotours operate out of Marrakesh. Based in the Draa River valley, Wild Morocco organise all sorts of custom adventure tours. Plan-it Morocco is a woman-owned, fully licensed travel agency operating out of Fez. Morocco Accessible Travel specialises in travel to Morocco for people with disabilities. Jeunesse des Chantiers Marocains is a non-profit youth exchange and travel organisation.
Cultural World Heritage:
- Archaeological Site of Volubilis (1997)
- Historic City of Meknes (1996)
- Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou (1987)
- Medina of Essaouira (formerly Mogador) (2001)
- Medina of Fez (1981)
- Medina of Marrakesh (1985)
- Medina of Tétouan (formerly known as Titawin) (1997)
- Portuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida) (2004)
- Rabat, Modern Capital and Historic City: a Shared Heritage (2012)
- Global sustainable tourism development and geomorphology: Agouliz oasis, Morocco – L M’Barki, M Abioui, M Benssaou… – 2017
- The Sustainable Tourism in Essaouira in Morocco – H Mohamed – 2017
- Signs of hope or wrong way? The implementation of ecotourism as a touristic product within Morocco destination – Y Lamnadi – 2016
- Study of Monumental Heritage Traditional Moroccan for a Valorization and Conservation of Collective Memory Development for Socio-Eco-Sustainable Tourism-case Kasbah Chellah, Rabat – S Belhaj, L Bahi, A Akhssas – 2016
- The Great Catchment of Souss-Massa Wadi (Morocco): Relationship Between Protected Areas and Ecotourism – H Aboutayeb, M Beraaouz, A Ezaidi – 2016
- Ecotourism in the Talassemtane Natural Park (Northern Morocco) – M Rhattas, L Zidane, A Douira – 2015
- Participatory Planning Tools for Ecotourism in Protected Areas of Morocco and Tunisia: A First Experience – C Danelutti, ÁDA Caramés, C Olmeda… – 2015
- Sustainable water management-perspectives for tourism development in north-eastern Morocco – V Tekken, JP Kropp – 2015
- Perspectives of the sustainable tourism in the region Tánger-Tetuán (Morocco) – S López, G Arcila – 2014
- The biosphere reserve of the argan tree: eco-tourism a new territory South of Morocco – H Aboutayeb – 2014
- Creating the «Taza-Bouiblane» Tourist route as a means for promoting rural and eco-tourism in the North-Eastern Middle Atlas (Morocco) – L López, A Tribak – 2013