Despite preservation efforts, the argan forest has declined from 100 trees per hectare (approx. 2.5 acres) to 30 trees per hectare in less than a century according to a study presented during the World Congress on Agroforesty in Delhi in February. The forest, located in the Southwest of Morocco, covers about 870,000 hectares (2,175,000 acres).
Kahina is dedicated to the sustainable harvesting of the argan nuts, ensuring efforts to protect the trees and retain the raw material as an economic resource for the local community. We also support an initiative put forth by the High Atlas Foundation to plant community argan nurseries in the region. The High Atlas Foundation’s objective is to plant approximately 5,000 trees per village to improve the livelihoods of the local people and prevent the decline of the forest. During the month of April, we will plant an argan tree for every bottle of Kahina Argan Oil sold on givingbeauty.com.
The argan tree is known locally as the tree of life. According to Mohammed SghirTaleb, the researcher who presented the study, “The exploitation of argan is not sustainable.” You can help to protect this precious resource by purchasing argan oil from reputable suppliers that promise sustainable harvesting practices and by donating directly to the High Atlas Foundation at www.highatlasfoundation.org.
ABOUT HIGH ATLAS FOUNDATION
HAF works to establish development projects in different parts of Morocco that local communities design and manage, and that are in partnership with government and non-government agencies. HAF uses a participatory development approach that includes beneficiaries as active partners in every step of the development process – from prioritizing development goals to project implementation and management to monitoring and evaluation.