Recommendations for Jabal La’lâm and other sacred naturals sites of the Rif region
Thanks to work of Doctor Zakia Zouanat, member of the IUCN’s Task Force on the cultural and spiritual values of protected areas, the Moroccan Minister of Islamic affairs and Habus invited Gonzalo Oviedo and Josep-Maria Mallarach to visit Moulay ‘Abd al-Salâm ibn Mashîsh on the summit of the mountain of Jabal La’lâm in the Jbel Bouhachem (Rif) area of natural and ecological interest, as well as other natural sites with associated religious values.
The visit enabled the conditions and management of this pilgrimage centre to be evaluated and proposals to be made. Furthermore, the general relevance of and opportunities for the protection of sacred natural sites under new legislation and policies on protected areas in Morocco were also analysed. Aside from the visit to the hourn on the summit of Jabal La’lâm, the delegation held meetings with a number of authorities and official bodies in Rabat.
As a result of these cordial meetings the delegation was able to make a number of suggestions: around the tomb of Moulay ‘Abd al-Salâm ibn Mashîsh, the main recommendations were aimed at evaluating in more detail the new infrastructures planned for the area, the implementation of measures designed to improve the adaptation of these new infrastructures to the environmental and landscape values of the sites, and greater respect for all the spiritual and cultural values of the site.
Regarding the natural sacred sites in Morocco, the delegation recommended that the authorities carry out an inventory of the country’s natural sacred sites, evaluate their conservation status and plan integrated management that takes into account current legislation on national protected areas. As well, the delegation offered help with management in sacred natural sites and the presentation of the project at the third international seminar of the Delos Initiative in Morocco. If these ideas are accepted, monitoring could be carried out by the Delos Initiative and the Mediterranean Office of the IUCN in Malaga.