Mission to Morocco from April 30 to 30 May 2016

Synthesis Mission Report in the H2020 program

Period and place : mission to Morocco from April 30 to 30 May 2016
PhD student : Ekobevet Allogo, Aix-Marseillle University-Laboratory EA ADEF
Director of theory : Angela Barthes, Professor of Universities

The first results of our investigations can be summarized into two main parts. The first part refers to a comparative study France-Morocco, and the second part as group of results related to an analysis of the actions of the guidance council Alpin Unesco Geopark of France. Our results are based on observations and interview surveys, investigations associated with sense of place made by the Steering Board of Alpin Unesco Geopark. We are conducting these surveys since the end of June 2015 (completed by prospecting survey in Morocco in May 2016). We used interview guides, observation and operated the questionnaire proposed by the Steering Board of the advisory committee. in total, 116 respondents who are concerned.

Overall, these two entities (Alpin Unesco Geopark and Geopark M’goun) are both undergoing restructuring. And even on this aspect, situations differ. For one, there is a double action restructuring : site relocation and establishment in a new region of the area. This major restructuring also affects the operational part. It also requires management Geopark M’goun to change; she sees herself obliged for example, among others, to recruit “new” personnel. It accounts for only operational employee, the site director. In the Alpes de Haute Provence, its restructuring is functional rather that due to its recent re-branding (2015). In terms of action on the ground, the Geopark M’goun has instead focused on the outcome of a case concerning the structure of management autonomy. However, we need to mention that disabled people of its territory have received significant modern equipment from the Geopark.

Talking about educational activities for the Geopark M’goun, it’s rather other entities who insured at the moment this educational activity (Cadi Ayyad University, the Museum of Marrakech with some of their partners). However, Alpin Unesco Geopark de high Provence experimented for nearly a year and half the integration of its educational program “informal” in schools. Those activities aim to promote local heritages of Commons and the promotion of Unesco Geopark – Alpes de Haute Provence. In a participatory approach, this education department involves teacher collective in the target institutions. Sometimes it happened that some principals refuse to integrate the program into their school plan.

The results of these researches show, for example , that only 39% of local people know Unesco Geopark – Alpes de Haute Provence … that the age range to reach and could participate actively in the promotion of Alpin UNESCO – Geopark high Provence is the one between 18-46 years. Unanimously, all researches confirm that Alpin Unesco Geopark – Alpes of High Provence does not communicate ! Whether Geopark M’goun or UNESCO Geopark – Alpes de Haute Provence, both territories have a seat “Museum”.

Concerning Alpin UNESCO – Geopark of France which is the subject of a longer study ( since June 2015), it appears from our analysis that it is not really seen as an entity of the territory remains in the shadow of the Geological Reserve that is more deeply rooted in mentality. The people do not understand well the value and role of UNESCO Geopark and labeling, they may fear that their heritage is removed , privatized. The natives do not understand that they are actors of their territory and they have a role to play in local development in partnership with the Geopark . That’s the reason why the guidance council thinks expanding partnerships.

At our “next” mission to Morocco, we will participate alongside the Geopark M’goun field work (communication campaign to publicize the Geopark,…). We will thus contact with the leaders of federations representing the communities of the territory and long term to get a questionnaire for local people.

Finally, we thank the H2020 Programme mobility which we are beneficiary.

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