Bou Naceur Sustainability is an organization created exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, which is dedicated to fostering sustainable economic and human development, environmental and cultural preservation, peacebuilding, and multicultural exchange between the Atlas Mountain region of Morocco, North Africa, Africa and the world. Rapid economic and environmental changes are driving rural people from their communities and their way of life in these beautiful and unique mountains. Our organization aims to help people thrive in the Atlas region by fostering sustainable development and environmental stewardship, and by empowering them to navigate the challenges of a changing economy, climate, and world.
The Atlas Mountains and the Amazigh
Morocco is a country with extraordinary cultural and natural diversity. In a single day, one could conceivably ride a camel through the desert, ski, have tea in a traditional village composed of mud-brick compounds, have a coffee at a bustling urban cafe, and go surfing. Much of this diversity is due to the Atlas Mountains, which hold back the Sahara Desert and leave a fertile area between the snowy peaks and the Atlantic Ocean. Heavy winter snows in these mountains provided the water to build some of history’s greatest civilizations, at one time ruling from Southern France to Timbuktu.
The inhabitants of the Atlas Mountains are largely Berber, or, as they call themselves, Amazigh, meaning the Free People. For millennia, they have preserved their unique culture, language, heritage, and environment.
However, significant environmental and economic changes are taking place in the Atlas Mountains. Climate Change has already greatly impacted the Atlas region’s environment, and rural communities are increasingly affected by drought and severe weather events. In order to sustain life in this harsh and unforgiving climate, new sources of employment and careful management of natural resources are imperative.
What We Do
Outdoor tourism offers an opportunity for sustainable development in the Atlas region by supplementing rural farmers’ income through the provision of services to guests and the sale of traditional goods, including rugs, specialty oils, and crafts. Additionally, these alternative sources of income enable herders and shepherds to transition toward new forms of employment, such as mountain guiding, aiding conservation and forest protection efforts.
Through the development of sustainable mountain tourism in the Atlas region, our organization seeks to address many of the region’s most critical environmental and sustainability issues, including adaptation to Climate Change, overgrazing and land-use practices, desertification and deforestation, water distribution and rights, conservation of endangered resources, preservation of traditional agricultural knowledge, and preservation of the region's unique cultural heritage.
Come join us at any of our upcoming workshops and events in the United States for an evening of learning and exploration. Your support contributes to preserving cultural and natural diversity and creating a sustainable future for generations to come. Better yet, join us in Morocco to learn what it means to live Amazigh.
Who We Are
Bou Naceur Sustainability was started in 2017 by Ahmed Achou and Aaron Gould-Kavet. Ahmed Achou has nearly two decades of experience working as a mountain guide, and built the home of BNS, Gite Bou Naceur. Aaron Gould-Kavet has a BA in Sustainable Development from Hampshire College, and has worked extensively on non-profit projects in Morocco and Rwanda. Our board includes Rashid Abdullah, who has an MA in Applied Linguistics from the American University in Cairo and brings extensive experience to our team. Rashid is currently developing our educational programs in Morocco and the US. Our board also includes Phil Carter, who worked with us extensively in developing our film and promotional materials.
Our sponsoring partner is African Peace Partners who's inspiring work in Rwanda led to the creation of BNS.