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Why women's traditional knowledge matters in the production processes of natural product development: The case of the Green Morocco Plan

In Morocco, Traditional Knowledge is increasingly incorporated into natural products derived from natural resources as policies advocate the creation of income generating activities via cooperatives; these initiatives ultimately seek to empower rural women economically. The study reveals that the women's traditional knowledge is readily integrated in the development of natural products, vital in product development, yet not officially acknowledged by the employers and national legislation.

Society

Traditional Knowledge (TK) is well recognized for its contribution to climate change adaptation strategies and community-based natural resource conservation. In Morocco, traditional knowledge is now increasingly incorporated into natural product development derived from natural resources as policies advocate the creation of income generating activities via cooperatives; these initiatives ultimately seek to empower rural women economically and to lift them out of poverty. Focus groups, semi-structured interviews and in depth observation were conducted in six cooperatives in Rhamna province to examine the extent to which women's traditional knowledge is applied and whether it is recognized. Our study reveals that the women's traditional knowledge is readily integrated in the development of natural products, vital in product development, yet is not officially acknowledged by the employers and national legislation. With international organisations increasingly putting pressure on countries such as Morocco to integrate the Access to Benefit Sharing (ABS) and particularly article 8j of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the challenge lies now in securing recognition of women's traditional knowledge involved in these activities. The full article is available online here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277539518303704