Association Amsing was created by the villagers of Elmoudaa – an Amazirght (Berber) community located in the High Atlas Mountains – to address economic isolation, a lack of social services, and harsh climatic conditions. The association has successfully regenerated degraded lands surrounding their village through a traditional land management practice called ‘azzayn’ which bans herders from grazing in protected lands. Fines are levied on transgressors. The reintroduction of this regulatory system has allowed native grasses and shrubs to thrive, reduced soil erosion, and prevented flooding.
The community has also strategically reforested ten hectares of land to further mitigate soil erosion and flood risks. The association has undertaken a number of infrastructure projects to promote community-based adaptation to climate change and resilience in the face of climate variability. A ‘water chateau’ stores fresh water for use in times of drought or when floods wash away irrigation ditches, while a water tower provides local residents with access to clean drinking water. The association is in the process of constructing a ‘wash station’ that will contain a filtration pool for phytoremediation, a natural decontamination technique that will prevent soaps, detergents and chemicals from entering the irrigation canals and fields. In addition to upgrading the community irrigation system, the association has expanded into greenhouse farming to explore new crops and improve food security.