La loi du marché et l'environnement au Maroc

Les expériences basées sur la loi du marché - telles l'éco-tourisme et le négoce des droits de pollution - se sont multipliées au cours de la dernière décennie. En Afrique, cette approche se veut avantageuse de tous les points de vue, car elle vise à profiter aux populations pauvres tout en préservant les ressources naturelles. Mais les conséquences de ces programmes sont généralement mal appréhendées.

La stratégie de protection de l'environnement fondée sur la loi du marché repose sur une théorie simple : si l'on crée des débouchés pour les produits dérivés des ressources naturelles, la population locale leur accordera de l'importance et sera incitée à les protéger. Partant de cette idée, plusieurs groupes qui veulent protéger les forêts d'arganiers du Maroc, un arbre qui n'existe que dans ce pays, ont soutenu avec enthousiasme la commercialisation de l'huile d'argan. Le résultat devrait faire réfléchir les autres pays d'Afrique quant à une approche de ce type des problèmes de développement et de protection de l'environnement.

L'arganier pousse exclusivement dans le sud-ouest marocain en zone extrêmement aride et il joue un rôle important dans l'écosystème. Au cours du 20° siècle, près de la moitié des forêts d'arganiers ont disparu à cause de l'augmentation de la demande en charbon de bois de qualité et de l'augmentation des surfaces cultivées. Dus aux menaces persistantes pesant sur les forêts d'arganiers et au caractère unique de cet arbre, en 1999 il a été déclaré patrimoine universel par l'Unesco, dans le cadre du Réseau mondial de la biosphère.

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