Morocco is situated at the western side of North Africa and is surrounded and influenced ecologically and with respect to climate by the Mediterranean Sea in the North, the Atlantic Ocean in the West and the Sahara Desert in the South and East. The country has diverse geomorphological characteristics and a complex evolutionary history. All of these factors in Morocco allow for the existence of a great variety of terrestrial, freshwater and marine biomes. They also make Morocco a zone of high endemicity and biodiversity, and one of the Global 200 priority ecoregions for global conservation. The diverse number of floristic species is one of the most outstanding in the world and the fauna diversity is well-represented by different groups of vertebrates (mammals, birds, reptiles and fish). However, the diversity of the terrestrial and marine invertebrates is especially high but is still relatively less-known. This diversity of species makes Morocco the second-most populated country in terms of fauna and flora in the Mediterranean basin and with a significant level of endemism, 11% for fauna and 25% for flora.
In March 2018, the Moroccan Youth Biodiversity Network (MYBN) was created as the national chapter of GYBN in Morocco, following the GYBN Africa Capacity Building workshop in 2017 that was hosted in South Africa. The founding and coordinating team, Oussama Bououarour, Oussama Bouarakia, Hala Ainou, Soilam Boutoumit, Feirouz Touhamihe, were inspired to create the MYBN chapter after participating in numerous youth networks, projects and major environmental events. MYBN attracted a diverse group of members, including students, young researchers and activists in the field of biodiversity, most with extensive experience in civil society work. Furthermore, the low representation of youth-led organizations in the Moroccan civil society working on environmental issues has encouraged us to turn the chapter into an official, legally-recognized non-profit association in Morocco.
The goals of the Moroccan Youth Biodiversity Network are:
Raising awareness in Morocco about the different subjects related to Moroccan and global biodiversity.
Working on the capacity building of university students or community members on the multiple aspects of biodiversity through workshops and webinars.
Mobilizing the youth to advocate around biodiversity-related policies and decisions at the national and regional level.
Coordinating youth participation in the implementation of national biodiversity plans.
Promoting the management and conservation of the environment for the purpose of sustainable development.