Association Zaila
       le désert ne se décrit pas, il se vit

le désert ne se décrit pas, il se vit

Activités Zaila

L'Association Zaila présente à la COP22

Marrakech du 7 au 18 novembre 2016 




Zaila Association Actions against plastic:


See in UNCCD News Letter 2012:


Much is already known about plastic refuse in the world’s oceans – most of it horrifying. But plastic waste is piling up on land, as well. In the world’s drylands and deserts, it increasingly disfigures landscapes, threatening plant life, livestock and livelihoods. Slowly, individual citizens are responding. 


From the southwestern states of the USA to the Arabian peninsula, tourists and trash are coming to the drylands, boosting local economies but threatening just as quickly to destroy eco-tourism’s opportunities. A combination of cheap air travel, thoughtless vacationers, poorly-trained guides and marauding 4x4 vehicles are prompting calls for better environmental management of once-pristine destinations.

Some countries are taking matters seriously. The US state of Nevada, for example, fines waste-dumpers up to $6,000. South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and other countries have cut back on plastic shopping bags, which clog drains, snag in trees and defile thousands of square kilometers of bush, rangeland and national parks. India’s Ministry of Tourism in March this year made government support for projects conditional on concrete plans for wayside rubbish collection points on highways and other routes to tourist destinations.

The world’s deserts are particularly vulnerable. “Desert tourism is growing fast, but the tolerance threshold for visitor numbers in these ecosystems is not high”, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) warned in 2006. Understandably, many authorities are reluctant to forego the income that limiting tourist numbers would imply. To help spread the burden, ordinary citizens are rolling up their sleeves and taking action themselves. Three examples from the African continent and the Middle East:

Morocco: Local self-help Ali Sbai is the head of Zaila, a Swiss-based NGO devoted to eco-tourism in southern Morocco. “Deserts and glaciers are like empty radar screens”, says Mr Sbai. “Drop anything into them, whether a plastic bottle or an empty soft drink can, and it sticks out very visibly.” He has organized clean-up operations with the help of several hundred local volunteers around M’hamid, a village on the fringes of the Sahara, where refuse dumps dot the landscape.

Local inhabitants are shaping some of the plastic waste into reusable artifacts or recycling cast-off tires into sandals. But the main approach so far has been incineration and burial – basic by any standard but preferable to leaving the garbage piled up under open skies. “Desert pollution is a symptom of globalization of consumer goods”, says Mr Sbai, “and also the globalization of our human stupidity.”


“Over the 10 years I’ve been living and working in Morocco, I’ve seen plastic pollution grow from a few bags blowing across the Sahara to clogged rivers and watersheds everywhere, from a few bags left by roadsides to huge dumps in ravines and gorges. I believe people learn and are encouraged by example.”

Canadian tour operatorRobbin Yager, who spends days picking up plastic waste and encouraging clients to do likewis



Chants nomades de l'équipe Zaila, lors des caravanes 2012!

Découvrez l'autre façon de chanter le désert! Sublime!!!

Equipe Zaila au désert!


Bienvenido a la página web de la Asociación Zaila !


Association Zaila
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