According to data from the University of Maryland, Morocco lost about 5% of its remaining dense tree cover between 2001 and 2014. On the other hand, Global Forest Watch reported recently large areas of tree cover gain during the same period of time, what indicates reforestation and afforestation, especially in places where trees didn’t originally occur.
According to Anouar Benazzouz, general manager of Morocco’s Highways Authority (MHA), his agency has planted more than 3 million tree species in the country over the past decade.
MHA is going to plant another 800 000 by the end of 2017. As he pointed, many of these new trees are planted along newly built highways. MHA has built more than 1700 kilometers of new highways, with another almost 500 kilometers of highways planned in the near future.
In addition, Benazzouz told Mongabay in an interview:
“We want to offset emissions along the new highways we are constructing. And we are planting tree species that are protected in Morocco.”
One of such trees is the Argan tree. The broad, leafy argan, produces an edible oil also used for skin care. The argan tree grows up to 3 meters tall and can live for more than 200 years.
It is interesting that argan tree is often called “goat tree”. If you want to know why there are goats in the trees, and why argan oil cost more than $300 per liter, watch it out here:
Why are there goats in the trees?
Main photo: Trees in Marocco, visible from the plane. Photo credit: Rafal Chudy