Responses to Drought and Desertification in the Moroccan Drâa Valley Region: Resilience at the Expense of Sustainability?

By Lorenzo Chelleri, Guido Minucci, Angela Ruiz and Ahmed Karmaoui.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Dryland and oasis communities in developing countries are considered to be among the most threatened by climate change impacts and the consequences of increasing human pressure on the environment. For centuries nomads and oasis communities have been demonstrating their adaptive capacities and resilience by coping with tough environmental conditions. In the Moroccan Drâa Valley, we explore different top-down, bottom-up, regional and local adaptation strategies, applied in response to increasing droughts and desertification rates. The adaptations of different sectors and actors have been integrated in a regional study in order to frame them from both the resilience and sustainability perspectives. The findings underline that while human adaptive strategies are mostly capable of addressing stressors and enhancing resilience (in the short run) locally, ecosystems resilience and regional social-ecological sustainability are under threat. The paper concludes by highlighting the importance of reframing resilient strategies in the light of sustainability and long term resilience perspectives.

Keywords: Resilience, Sustainability, Drought, Desertification, Dryland, DESERTEC, Morocco, Drâa Valley, Maladaptation

International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp.17-33. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 988.399KB).

Dr Lorenzo Chelleri

Post doctoral researcher, INTERFASE Group, Geography Department, Autonomous Barcelona University, Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain

Lorenzo is an environmental planner (bachelor at Venice IUAV University) and a European MSc in Environmental Policies and Planning. He has been working as a researcher at the European Topic Centre for Terrestrial Environment (ETC-TE, 2007) and in the last year different internship fellowships allowed him to focus his work on resilience related research between Italy (Sassari university), the Netherlands (Tu-Delft university) and Sweden (Stockholm Resilience Centre) while completing his PhD program at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Within the INTERFASE group he is involved in the European MEDINA FP7 project and other different national and regional scales projects. He has also been working in Morocco and coordinated some international cooperation projects as part of his researches on urban resilience. Furthermore, he has recently been in charge of some international activities related to re-framing Urban Resilience from which SCI papers and a book is next to be published.

Guido Minucci

PhD Candidate, Dipartimento di Archiettura e Studi Urbani (DAStU), Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy

Guido Minucci is an environmental planner. Since 2009, he has been working in two European projects (ENSURE, MIARIA) and in many national projects as assistant researcher at Politecnico di Milano. In 2011 he has been started his PhD on building resilience and water demand management to reduce drought risk in developing countries at Politecnico di Milano. Recently, he has started a collaboration on drought risk mitigation with the NGO “ACRA” on a European project of international cooperation (BOLTOM) in Bolivia

Angela Ruiz

Associate Professor, departamento de deación grafica y arquitectonica, Politecnico de Madrid, Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Ahmed Karmaoui

PhD Candidate, Departement of Biology, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech, Morocco, Morocco


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