Saving Morocco’s climate— one oasis at a time
Meet Amal, Programme Analyst at UNDP Morocco
In one sentence, what do you do at UNDP?
I manage the climate change and energy portfolio for UNDP Morocco. I’m also the main contact for the upcoming climate conference, COP22.
How does your specific project change the lives of people in the developing world?
Our oases development programmes are a great example. Oases play a major role for the Moroccan environment, economy and people. However, they’re considered the most vulnerable areas to climate change in the country.
Together with the Government and local communities we help to conserve and recover oasis areas. This ensures access to water and arable land, which in turn protects villagers, whose traditional sources of income are becoming more and more unstable because of climate change.
Through our oases programmes we establish water-saving projects, promote solar energy, restore agro-biodiversity, and introduce plants that can survive in harsh conditions and adapt to the changing climate more easily. All of this has improved the living conditions of the local people a lot.
Tell us about a community member you’ve met who has benefited from this project?
One of our oases programmes supported the installation of solar power systems in an isolated desert town called Fezna. By subscribing to an innovative public lighting project the town combined energy efficiency with economic benefit.
This initiative changed the lives of many people in Fezna — especially those of high school students who usually had to walk back from school in the dark. Now, they can finally walk the road safely and their parents don’t have to worry so much anymore.
If you were president of a climate vulnerable country in your region, what’s one thing you would do to minimize the threat of climate change?
To require (by law) the use of at least 40% of energy from renewable sources in different sectors, especially in industry.
As a child, what did you want to be when you ‘grow up’?
I was dreaming to become a pilot. There’s not really a connection to my current job, but it’s really what I wanted to be when I was a child.
What was your first-ever job? How did you end up working in climate change?
In my first-ever job, I worked as an environmental engineer in an oil refinery. After working in the oil industry and experiencing the impact of fossil fuels on the environment and on the climate first hand, I was convinced that there are still things we can do to save our planet.
What’s one action that people can take in their everyday lives to minimize the risk of climate change?
Stop wasting in general. Use energy and natural resources in the right amount.
My colleagues would describe me as…….
BOUNDIF. It’s a Moroccan cartoon that’s broadcasted on TV to raise awareness about environmental protection.
By 2030, I want to live in a world that……
…is peaceful, safe, healthy, just and fair.