by Association La terre Verte Ain Sefra 


This project aims to contribute to the rehabilitation of fragile ecological systems: Stipa tenacissima and the Atlas pistachio (Pistacia atlentica) in the Ain Sefra region, for their conservation and multiplication, as they are emblematic species and the most threatened. Steppes with Stipa tenacissima (Alfa) -species considered as medicinal, pastoral and industrial plants- have lost 94% of their area since 1978 (Hourizi et al, 2017). The objective is to establish a pastoretum in a set-aside area, which will be planted in the same ecological conditions of the rangeland concerned by the rehabilitation. In addition, the seedlings, produced at the nursery, will be transplanted to the pastoretum in large numbers in order to create a favourable environment for the multiplication of living seeds, motivate biodiversity and mitigate climate change and degradation. The other quantity will be sent to the local communities associated in this project, for wide dispersion in the intervention area for the purpose of their conservation and preservation.

A micro-bank of seeds of Stipa tenacissima and Atlas pistachio treehas been established, with an inventory and database of all scientific and technical information on each taxon to support scientific studies.

Three hectares of Stipa tenacissima and 1,000 seedlings of Atlas pistachio are planted in the pastoretum and degraded rangelands to contribute to the multiplication and rehabilitation of steppe plant species « Stipa tenacissima and the Atlas pistachio tree ».


  • A floristic inventory of « Stipa tenacissima and the Atlas pistachio tree » is elaborated on the region of Ain Sefra.
  • A map of the distribution area of Stipa tenacissima and the pistachio tree of the Atlas was made.
  • A data sheet of « Stipa tenacissima and the Atlas pistachio tree » is elaborated to constitute a scientific database.
  • A strategy adopted and adapted by local actors to protect the areas of Stipa tenacissima and the Atlas pistachio.
  • A micro-bank of seeds of Stipa tenacissima and the Atlas pistachio tree established.
  • A production nursery of 12 m x 8 m established.
  • 03 hectares of Stipa tenacissima and 1,000 seedlings of Atlas pistachio are planted in the pastoretum and degraded rangelands.
  • Farmers (30), herders (20), women (10), members of associations (20) and agents of the institutions concerned (10) in the project area are trained and informed and become aware of the danger threatening local biodiversity and how to deal with it.
  • Farmers (30), herders (20), women (10), agents of the concerned institutions (10) and members of the Associations (20) of the project area practice the plantation of Stipa tenacissima and the Atlas pistachio tree.
  • The 03 green clubs of 75 schoolchildren are installed and are active.
  • 30 farmers, 20 agro-pastoralists, 20 villagers or Bedouins and 75 school children are sensitised on the need to preserve biodiversity in the region (conference-workshop). The action of preserving steppe biodiversity for climate change mitigation is popularised and publicised.
  • Information on the action and preservation of biodiversity and the environment in the steppe area in Ain Sefra.

Climate smartness*

In the Ain Sefra region, two elements that are key to the successful adoption of CSA practices and technologies over time were addressed. On the one hand, the exhaustive work of recognition and classification of the relevant species, its habitat, characteristics, etc., allows a greater appropriation of the endemic flora and fauna by actors engaged. This assumes that stakeholders are now more aware of particular socio-economic, cultural and environmental importance of these species for the region, therefore increasing their perceived value (N’Danikou et al., 2011). This also encourages changes in the behavioral patterns of producers and consumers, with implicit advantages to building up adaptation capacity in the community. On the other hand, a key element is co-design, ensuring the engagement and participation of local actors throughout the whole process of the initiative, making room for knowledge exchange opportunities integrating theory with practice. Understanding of the existing components of the agroecosystem and their interactions ease the analysis and decision-making processes facilitating the prioritization and implementation of adaptation and mitigation strategies by farmers. An example of this are the seed banks, a practice that materializes the different CSA outcomes, strengthening the supply of locally adapted planting material to ensure food security, and minimizing the need to acquire external inputs (adaptation), with potential reductions in the carbon footprint associated with the management of the farming system or restoration of a degraded habitat.

*This is done in the framework of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) approach. Climate-smartness in agriculture means understanding impacts of climate change and variability along with the agricultural activity, which includes the planning of what crop to plant, when to plant, what variety to plant and what type of management practices are needed to reduce the impact on the environment (e.g. emissions reduction), maintain or increase productivity (e.g. yields) while increasing resilience and improving livelihoods.