Soluciones de mercado, el medio ambiente y Marruecos

Los experimentos con mecanismos basados en el mercado (el ecoturismo o el comercio de emisiones de las fábricas, por ejemplo) se han multiplicado a lo largo de la última década. En Africa, estos enfoques buscan un resultado benéfico para todos: los pobres se benefician y se conservan recursos. Pero los efectos netos de esos programas no se han comprendido a cabalidad.

La teoría detrás de las estrategias de conservación basadas en el mercado es simple: crear mercados para productos derivados a fin de incrementar el valor que la gente local le otorga al recurso, induciéndolos así a conservarlo. Con esta lógica en mente, varios grupos que buscaban proteger los bosques de arganes de Marruecos adoptaron con entusiasmo la comercialización del aceite de argán. Los resultados deben hacer que otros africanos sean precavidos en cuanto al potencial de los enfoques basados en el mercado en sus problemas ambientales y de desarrollo.

El argán es un árbol único y un componente importante del ecosistema árido del sudoeste de Marruecos. Durante el siglo XX, casi la mitad de los bosques de argán desaparecieron debido a la demanda de carbón de alta calidad y a la conversión de tierras para la agricultura. Reconociendo las amenazas persistentes a los bosques de arganes, así como su carácter único, la UNESCO los incluyó en 1999 en la Red de Reservas Mundiales de la Biósfera.

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