Arganiers en Algérie / Argan trees in Algeria

Ce matin j’ai reçu un message de mes amis les forestiers de Tindouf (Algérie) avec des très belles photos d’arganiers (Argania spinosa) :

Voici une série de photos sur l’arganier prises par monsieur le conservateur (des Services de la Conservation des Forêts à Tindouf)
lors de sa derniere sortie sur site”

Je vous laisse apprécier les images, envoyé par Mr. Chakib MIMOU de la part de mon grand ami Abdelmoumène MOUZAOUI. Vous constaterez les potentialités de l’arganier pour le reboisement en région désertiques, tout en sachant que l’huile d’argan est tellement précieuse.

This morning I received a message from my friends the foresters of Tindouf (Algeria) with some excellent pictures of argan trees on location in Algeria. These pictures have been taken by the Director-Conservator of the Forestry Services in Tindouf. You will notice the enormous potentialities of the argan tree for reforestation purposes in desertlike areas, knowing also how precious the argan oil is.

Argan 02
Un bel arganier – A nice argan tree

Argan 10
Très résistant à la sécheresse – Very drought resistant

Argan 08
Bosquet d’arganiers limitant l’érosion éolienne – Dense argan group limiting wind erosion

Argan 01
Haut de plusieurs mètres et plein de fruits – Meters high and full of fruits

Argan 03
Cime impressionnant – Impressive canopy

Argan 04
Des troncs formidables – Fantastic trunks

Argan 05
Eventail de branches – A fan of branches

Argan 06
Comme une salle de théatre – Like a theater hall

Argan 07
Excellent abris pour les oiseaux – Excellent hiding places for birds

Argan 09
Système racinaire dans le sable pur – Root system in pure sand

Pictures of UNICEF project in Algeria? Des images du projet UNICEF en Algérie?

I am currently composing some albums of pictures of our UNICEF project in the refugee camps near Tindouf (S.W. Algeria). Those interested in having a look at the albums (with English and French legend for each picture) can send me a comment on this announcement (click “add a comment” above). I will then send them the albums over e-mail. Looking out for your reply.

Actuellement je compose des albums différents avec mes photos de notre projet UNICEF dans les camps des réfugiés près de Tindouf (S.W. Algérie). Tous ceux qui veulent recevoir une copie de ces albums (avec légende en Français et en Anglais pour chaque photo) peuvent m’envoyer un commentaire à ce message (cliquez “add a comment” plus haut) et je leur enverrai les albums par e-mail. Au plaisir de vous lire.

Child poverty reduction (dgAlert)

Today at <>


What Works Best in Reducing Child Poverty: A Benefit or Work Strategy?

“Child poverty is firmly on the policy agenda in many OECD countries. One of the main issues in the debate is the appropriate balance between the so-called “benefits strategy” (increasing the adequacy of benefits for low-income families with children) and the so-called “work strategy” (promoting policies to increase employment among poor families). The need to choose between these two apparent alternatives is sometimes seen as a consequence of an unavoidable trade-off between adequacy of benefits, work incentives and the costs of assistance.” Author(s): Whiteford, P.; Adema, W. (2007) DIRECTORATE FOR EMPLOYMENT, LABOUR AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS, EMPLOYMENT, LABOUR AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE, OECD, Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers No.51.”


I wonder what the impact of universally applied school gardening on child poverty would be. As poverty and desertification are intimately linked, I predict a positive effect through capacity building of the next generations. A hint for development of a “new” strategy ?  My suggestion for our UNICEF project in the refugee camps in Algeria : let’s start school gardening in all schools, be it only to provide fresh food to the kids at lunch time.  All additional positive effects are more than welcome.


Join the dgCommunities

I would to recommend to become a member of dg Communities through

Welcome to dgCommunities

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While anyone can browse this site, dgCommunities membership allows you to do much more. It is free to all and it only takes a few minutes to register.

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Have a look at it, you will be amazed by the wealth of information you can get !


Watershed and Water Resource Management

 Today at <>


Watershed and Water Resource Management

This program delivers credible scientific information, practical guidance, and proven decision-support tools and technology assessments to help program members, regulators, and other stakeholders develop and implement effective strategies for watershed assessment and management, water resource sustainability, water quality trading, TMDL analysis, ecosystem protection, individual power plant water use, and condenser and cooling system design and operation. The program facilitates cost-efficient, risk-based strategies capable of achieving environmental, social, and economic goals. The projects in this program are complementary and integrated around watershed and energy/water resource sustainability themes. The resolution of most watershed and water sustainability issues will require a combination of results from two or more of the projects. For 2007, a new project has been added to the program, Advanced Cooling Technologies. This project was formerly in the Facilities Water Management Program (Program 56). It has been transferred to this program because its scope and content are complementary to and synergistic with the overall goals and objectives of this program.

Nice comment Hans STROCK (Great Big Plants)

I received this nice comment from Hans STROCK:

Thanks Willem! I’m glad you had a chance to check out the site! Sorry about the delay in response, things have been hectic lately. It’s good to see other people who agree with keeping kids involved with gardening. It’s always important to give children some culture and experience they can take with them when they get older. I think all children should have something fun and creative they can do. It helps them feel good about themselves. Keep up the good work!”

Well said, Hans ! In the western countries, so many people are complaining about the fact that young people are only interested in TV-programs. Why don’t we offer them a chance to do something useful and fun, instead of leaving them hanging (or laying) around in front of the TV-set? Impossible to change their attitude ? Yes, if you start early enough (e.g. with pubers). And what if you start even earlier, let’s say in primary school? I am sure kids love to do practical gardening in a very simple way. As a biology teacher I always got fantastic reactions when my pupils (12-18 years old) got an individual project to grow different plant species from seeds. They did it in plastic bottles at the window sills in my classroom ! They learned how to grow things with a strict minimum of water ! And they loved to write their personal report with observations and drawings. That is: EDUCATION WITH A PRACTICAL SENSE.
I am currently working out a similar project for the kids in the refugee camps in Algeria. Those children will most certainly be happy to have a “useful task” to grow vegetables in plastic bottles. There is not only the educational aspect of learning something about gardening, but one can also imagine how proud the kids will be to bring from time to time some vegetable (lettuce, parsley, onion, garlic, herbs, tomatoes, etc.) home. An later on they can always use these new skills (capacity building) to start gardening for their families. Wherever they are or will be!

I would like to suggest also the possibility of growing young fruit trees in plastic bottles at school. At the end of each school year, the children could then take “their tree(s)” home and plant them there. It would be a remarkable contribution to public health (vitamins through fruits), but also to reforestation in hostile environments like the Sahara desert in Algeria or, more generally, in all the drylands.

I really believe in a successful contribution to the combat of desertification and the alleviation of poverty when kids would do some gardening, be it in plastic bottles or even plastic bags, at school. Anyway, it can help to get rid of all those millions (billions ?) plastic containers (bags and bottles) dwelling around in the developing world (care for ecology and environment). A nice way to recycle those things, isn’t it ?

Any comments ? You are welcome.

Sustainable integrated water resources management

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Special Issue on: “Integrated Water Resources Management in Arid and Semi-Arid Areas”

In an increasing number of countries, in arid and semi-arid areas, water scarcity and deteriorating quality of natural water sources have become critical factors limiting national economic development, expansion of food production and/or provision of basic health and hygiene services to the population. There is an increasing urgency to develop new scientific means for sustainable management of water resources, and to offer solutions for improving living and working conditions for the present and future generations. Sustainable integrated water resources management is a concept that emphasises the need for a multi-disciplinary study of changing demands in the exploited water ecosystems which considers the development without their degradation in a long-term perspective as well as at the present. The purpose of this special issue is to better understand the key aspects of the sustainable management of water resources in arid and semi-arid area, to construct new mathematical and physical models using modern instruments of system engineering, management science, and information technologies, and to attempt to determine what is needed to improve effective water resources management in arid and semi-arid areas. We invite submissions of articles for consideration; manuscripts may be technical, conceptual, case-studies, policy or practice oriented and can range from original research to overviews, assessments, and reviews.