Title: Risks and Territorial conflicts in Rif mountains in northern Morocco

Professor Mohammed El-Fengour

Full Professor at University Institute of African, Euro-Mediterranean and Ibero-American Studies,
University Mohammed V in Rabat, Morocco.


   The intensity and frequency of the risks of degradation of natural environments affecting natural and socio-economic resources are closely linked to the environmental conditions and the older human settlements in the mountainous area of the Rif in northern Morocco.
   The Rif physical conditions are characterized by a fragile lithology, a Mediterranean instable climate, a very uneven relief and its dense and varied vegetation cover, these parameters contribute to the creation of a favorable situations to natural disasters. The population density, anthropic pressure and human practices constitute a determining factor in the genesis and the aggravation of natural risks in the Rif area. These practices act more on the degradation on the forest as the anarchic clearings of the forest domain, intended essentially for the illegal culture of Cannabis and its extension.
     This communication explores the combination of different factors generating natural hazards in the Rif region, also analyses the territorial conflict between the natural environment with its precarious balance and the high demand of the local population, especially during the introduction of the new illegal cannabis cultivation. This contradiction makes the area an object of conflict between the authorities protecting the public domain of the state and the needs of the population whose resources are very limited to satisfy their needs.K

Brief Biographical Note

Professor Mohammed El-fengour received his PhD in Physical Geography in 2009, Habilitation in 2015, and is a full Professor since 2021.
He was a Post-doctorate Follow Researcher at University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain in 2014, at Porto University in Portugal in 2016, at Bologna University and Padua in Italy in 2017 and Guest Researcher at Nordic African Institute in Uppsala, Sweden in 2022.
He coordinated some scientific projects within Bilateral Agreement with Sfax University in Tunisia in 2012-2014 and Coimbra University in 2015-2016, and currently is a coordinator of the project “Reducing the Socio‐economic Impacts of Climate Change in Northern‐Morocco” with many partners around the EU, he also participated in other multilateral projects within Erasmus, PRIMA and H2020 of the EU programs.