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

le désert ne se décrit pas, il se vit


The Zaila Association 

present at COP22

Marrakech: 7th - 18th November 2016


Interview with Jean-Philippe RAPP (Becurious TV): November 2015

Zaila Actions against Global Pollution !




BBC World Part1: Villages on the Font Line with A. SBAI

BBC World Part2: Villages on the Font Line2 with A. SBAI



To mark the UN Year of Desertification in 2006 (IYDD) this eight part series with a local presenter documents the struggle against land degradation and water shortage.


To mark the UN Year of Desertification in 2006, this eight part series, with a local presenter, documents the struggle against land degradation and water shortage. Human and livestock populations are increasing fastest in the regions of the world least able to meet the demand for more water and more fertile land. This competition is helping to turn the land into a man-made desert. "Desertification" is an ugly word with an ugly meaning. Vast areas of the drier parts of our world have been turned into a dust bowl. And worryingly, desert-like conditions are appearing in countries with Mediterranean climates, and even in sub tropical environments such as the Caribbean. According to the UN, 100 million people are being forced to migrate from degrading farms and pasture. Their destination is often the European Union and North America where illegal immigration is already a hot political issue. But the vast majority are staying in their countries, in most cases, because they have no choice. But in some cases it is because villages are coming up with ingenious defenses against desertification.

Villages on the Front Line, a new series starting in November, visits Jordan, Niger, China, the Caribbean, India, Tanzania, Spain and Morocco to find out how ordinary men and women in some of the poorest communities are finding surprising ways to defeat the encroaching desert and improve their livelihoods.

1st December 2006: Morocco

Today the main threat to the scarce Saharan grazing lands is not drought but tourism. With over nine million tourists per year in Morocco and Tunisia alone, and the craze for rallies brought on by the Paris-Dakar race, hundreds of thousands of vehicles travel all over the Moroccan Sahara each year. Thanks to GPS, off-road vehicle drivers have become increasingly reckless, causing severe damage to the frail desert ecosystem. It can take decades for nature to repair the damage one 4X4 vehicle can do. Yet, for the surviving nomads of southern Morocco, this is just the most recent of a series of problems threatening their livelihood. With tensions among neighboring countries, it has become more difficult to cross borders, so they are forced to take refuge in regions that are getting smaller every year and over-graze sparse pasture. And camel thefts are increasing. The nomads’ way of life, so finely attuned to the desert, appears doomed as the desert itself becomes ‘desertified’.  Ali Sbai was born in a tent to a nomad family. In this film he makes a passionate case for the creation of a network of cross-border reserves to enable the nomads to take pressure off the limited grazing ground and escape the effects of off-road vehicle damage.


SUPER MASTER TV:  Zaila was selected for its actions against plastic pollution


See the link: Interview on SUPER MASTER TV


Eco-loving viewers, and welcome to Good People, Good Works on Supreme Master Television. Modernization and technological development have brought great convenience and comfort into our lives, but due to humanity's careless neglect of Mother Nature, levels of raw material and energy consumption have seriously destabilized Earth's environment.

Fortunately many green movements have sprouted worldwide to enhance the sustainability of our ecosystem. Today's show features green organizations that are helping to create an environmentally friendly society through innovative ways to collect and reuse discarded materials, products and organic waste in the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Austria respectively.

Our deep appreciation goes to the Austrian Association of Municipalities, The Green Foundation, the Zaila Association, and Supreme Master Ching Hai for promoting green lifestyles so that Mother Nature can continue to protect and nourish all the precious life in our world.

For more information on the organizations featured on today's program, please visit the following websites: Austrian Association of Municipalities The Green Foundation Zaila Association

The final organization featured today's is the Zaila Association, a Swiss-based non-governmental organization which works to protect the beautiful region of Southern Morocco. The Zaila Association currently has several projects in the village of M'hamid which is located on the edge of the Sahara Desert. Now let's hear about the Association's efforts from its coordinator, Mr. Ali Sbai.

The Zaila Association was created in 2005 in order to curb this drift towards global pollution, so to speak. So we told ourselves that we had this plastic pollution everywhere, but nonetheless, the desert, the glaciers and the mountains had to be preserved. It's like the Earth's lungs for us. So the lungs must be clean; we must protect them or else it is the whole planet that is sick.

Because even, for example, in the mountains and in the seas, there is pollution everywhere, it is everywhere. You know, in all the oceans, there are many, many shipwrecks… Seas are garbage cans now and plastic, and so now, we see this pollution in the desert. That is why we, at Zaila initiated the Zaila alternative solution project: `Plastic: Ephemeral Usage, Durable Pollution.'

The Zaila Association provides guidance, know-how and alternative approaches to the use of plastic and other non-biodegradable, human-made products. So we allow the people or encourage them to make use of nature for a good cause, meaning, and making use of nature without damaging it. That is the equation that is proposed to humans now because the planet is in overproduction, in overconsumption, it is saturated. A plastic bag takes 20seconds to produce, 20minutes to use and 400years to biodegrade.

In this equation, we have everything. That is the symbol of durable pollution. So in counterpart, we have this small basket produced by Zaila as an alternative solution to plastic.

This basket or this small bag that is made out of palm fibers has a lot of purposes: to preserve food, to go to the market and to keep things fresh. This small palm bag can last four to five years. This bag is the equivalent of ,000plastic bags. When we make it, we save the Earth from ,000plastic bags.



En hommage à Saint Exupéry et à l'Aéropostale


L'Association Zaila et L'Ecole de l'Air de France ont collaboré dans le projet de plantation des palmiers à M'hamid.

Lors d'une expédition (à pied et à vélo!), une équipe de 6 élèves officiers a planté 6 palmiers avec Zaila, témoins de leur passage à M'hamid le 6 novembre 2012. Photos et commentaires de cette belle opération qui illustre, si besoins est, qu'il ya des amoureux du désert sensibles à l'approche Zaila à trouver des solutions à la sécheresse avec le respect de l'environnement en plus.

Bravo au Commandant Walter et son équipe d'élèves officiers: :

Jérémy Lacroix , Ugo Yvart, Yoann Poisson, Xavier Savalle et Sébastien Jeanjean


Avec Mahjoub et AbdelAli en train de planter le premier des six palmiers!

Ce qu' a écrit le Lieutenant Jérémy Lacroix, après cette belle action:

" Nous avons eu l'occasion de rencontrer des membres de l'Association Zaila durant notre passage au Maroc début novembre 2012 lors du 14° Raid Courrier Sud, raid sportif suivant les traces des pionniers de l'Aéropostale. Etant donné notre fonction, élèves officiers de l'Ecole de l'Air de Salon de Provence, aspirant à devenir Pilote, nous sommes très sensibles à la dimension de ce raid mais aussi aux actions humanitaires que nous pouvons faire durant cette semaine.

C'est pourquoi lors de notre rapide passage à M'Hamid, nous avons choisi d'aider l'Association Zaila à planter des jeunes palmiers. L'accueil chaleureux de Mahjoub Soubai nous ravit et la plantation de ces palmiers ( un par personne) fut pour nous très solennelle et nous sommes fiers d'avoir pu y laisser notre trace. C'est un endroit magnifique avec des personnages hauts en couleurs que nous devons malheureusement déjà quitter pour continuer le raid... A peine le temps de parler un peu avec l'équipe Zaila, un dernier au revoir ( en espérant de tout notre coeur que ce ne soit pas un adieu) et nous voici repartis.

Nous remercions encore chaleureusement Mahjoub ainsi qu'Ali qui a réussi à organier tout cela, et nous leur souhaitons bonne continuation !

 PS : Vos dattes sont délicieuses ! Nous les avons fait goûter aux autres équipes du raid et elles sont toutes unanimes !"


 Jérémy Lacroix.



Le Samedi 17 novembre 2012:

L'équipe Zaila retrouve ses amis du désert au domaine Pra Roman près de Lausanne.

Comment y accéder: suivre: Salle Pra Roman

Brahim et Mustapha vous enchanteront avec leur musique, autour d'un couscous et d’un délicieux thé du désert 



Archives 2010 -2011:

Zaïla sur Radio Paradiso

Photo © Nicolas Jutzi

L’association Zaïla a été invitée à participer à l'émission Radio Paradiso de la Radio suisse romande. Au programme, une interview et deux chansons que vous pouvez écouter en cliquant sur le lien ci-dessous. L'équipe est passée en fin d'émission (40 min 45)

Zaïla sur Radio Paradiso

L’équipe Zaïla à Montreux