Dr. Rachid Ait Babahmad



As President, Rachid Ait Babahmad oversees the overall management of MBLA projects. In his role, Rachid manages project activities, collects data related to biodiversity, implements biodiversity conservation actions and strengthens the capacities of community researchers in field research. Rachid is also responsible for continuing the fruitful relationships with our network of diverse partners, including local NGOs, authorities, cooperatives and institutions in Morocco. He contributes to the proposals, the implementation and the management of the projects.

Rachid holds a PhD in ecology and environment from Cadi Ayyad University. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Plant Growth and Protection and his Masters in Ecological Engineering Science and Biodiversity Analysis and Management Methodologies from Cadi Ayyad University, Faculty of Science of Semlalia.

      Hajar SALAMAT

      MBLA Vice President


      As Vice President, Hajar Salamat collaborates with the MBLA team to manage the office activities, as well as assisting in the organization of workshops and meetings.

      In her role as Field Scientist, she is responsible for ensuring community engagement and delivering participatory action research on cultural practices of conservation, sustainable land use practices and ethnobotanical knowledge in High Atlas communities.

      Hajar is a Moroccan agronomist engineer specialised in economic and social development, and trained at the Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II in Rabat- Morocco. Her research focused on analysing and evaluating the empowerment of women’s cooperatives of Argan oil in Tiznit, in the southern Moroccan region of Souss-Massa.

          Dr. Abdellah Aghraz

          MBLA Treasurer


          Abdellah Aghraz obtained his PhD in Biotechnology of Natural Resources from the University of Cadi Ayyad, Marrakech in 2019, where he focused on phytochemistry and pharmacology of medicinal plants. He holds a Master’s degree in Aromatic and Medicinal Plant Conservation, Protection and Valorization from the University of Cadi Ayyad, Marrakech.

          As Treasurer of the Moroccan Biodiversity and Livelihood Association (MBLA), Abdellah contributes towards grants proposals, prepares quarterly accounts and handles matters pertaining to human resources and purchasing in collaboration with MBLA’s board.
          As Project and Field Coordinator, Abdellah carries out actions on biodiversity conservation (nursery and seed bank implementation and flora data analysis), bio-cultural knowledge documentation, and strengthening capacities of local communities in the Oukaïmeden commune. He is also in charge of pursuing fruitful relationships with MBLA’s diverse partners, including the local population and municipality, local authorities, associations and cooperatives.

              Dr. Soufiane M’sou

              MBLA Secretary


              As Secretary of the Moroccan Biodiversity and Livelihood Association (MBLA), Soufiane actively contributes towards developing project proposals, and implementing and managing project activities.  He manages project activities and collects data related to its Ethnobiology Programme. Soufiane also focuses on territories and areas conserved by indigenous peoples and local communities (ICCA), and carries out research on policy and governance. Soufiane implements biodiversity conservation actions, including building the capacities of local communities in Ait M’hamed, while pursuing fruitful relationships with MBLA’s diverse partners in Morocco, including the local population and municipality, local authorities, associations, cooperatives and institutions in Morocco.


              Soufiane M’sou holds a PhD in Ecology and Phyto-chemistry from Cadi Ayyad University, where he focused on the study and monitoring of biodiversity, ethnobotany and cultural landscapes in the High Atlas, and phytochemistry. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering & Management of Biodiversity and his Masters in Medicinal and Aromatic Plants: Protection, Conservation and Valorization, in 2011 and 2013 respectively, from the Faculty of Science of Cadi Ayyad University.

                  Hamza ZINE

                  MBLA Vice Secretary


                  As MBLA’s Vice Secretary, Hamza Zine supports the MBLA administration and office activities.

                  After his degree in “Applied biology in the environmental management” on the Moroccan Saharan flora, Hamza took a specialized Master in teaching life and earth sciences, during which he wrote his dissertation on the phytoecology of the Amassine reserve located in the boundary zone of Toubkal national park in the High Atlas. He is currently working on his PhD thesis on the revegetation of anthropized ecosystems by local flora (mines) for the purpose of their restoration.

                  Hamza is passionate about Moroccan phytodiversity,  especially floristic studies, plants identification and conservation, and plants photography.

                      Hassan RANKOU



                      As Director, Dr. Hassan Rankou oversees MBLA’s activities and staff to ensure the successful implementation of all projects.

                      Hassan manages the project activities, the capacity building modules and plays a significant role in ensuring the project’s legacy. Hassan is also responsible for maintaining successful relations with our diverse partner network, including local NGO’s, authorities, cooperatives and research centres.

                      Hassan is a British-Moroccan plant conservationist graduated from the Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II in Morocco with a Master in biodiversity conservation and crop production. Hassan also got a PhD in climate change and biodiversity conservation from the University of Reading in the UK.

                          Dr. Mohamed Ouknin

                          Local Product Commercialisation Coordinator


                          Mohamed joined MBLA team in July 2019 as a Local Product Commercialization Coordinator. He oversees the development of processes related to local product commercialization and marketing, including design of a protocol and procedure for data consolidation and product selection. He collaborates with local cooperatives and associations to carry out feasibility studies for selected products, market value chain analysis, creation of business plans and their implementation and ethnobotanical monographs. He obtained his PhD in Biotechnology and Valorization of Aromatic and Medicinal Plants. His research interests revolve around local products, food and medicinal plants and their marketing techniques (packaging, labeling, certification…).

                              Dr. Omar Saadani Hassani

                              Field Agronomist Researcher


                              Omar joined MBLA in April 2019 as Field Agronomist Researcher. He is responsible for carrying out research and capacity-building activities in our High Atlas Cultural Landscapes programme. Omar holds a PhD in Biotechnology & Environmental Sciences.

                              His previous experiences have enabled him to acquire knowledge on waste treatments, the conservation of biodiversity and the environment, Permaculture capacity building, as well as concepts related to work safety in the field. Omar is very passionate about working with local farmers in the High Atlas, and plays an important role in the success of our Farmer Field Schools.

                                  Sabah Bahij

                                  Field Researcher in Social Sciences


                                  Sabah Bahij is a Moroccan agronomist engineer in crop management and environment from HASSAN II Institute of Agronomy and Veterinary in Rabat. Originally from a rural area in Morocco, she has developed her knowledge around different needs of the local population in a rural context, and improved her skills to communicate with smallholder farmers, through her studies and training in the field.

                                  Sabah joined MBLA team in January 2020. In her role as a Field Researcher in Social Sciences, she leads the development of environmental activities at schools in the High Atlas, as part of the youth and Biocultural Education programme. She also supports the documentation of cultural practices of conservation and focuses on community engagement through the development of community action plans.

                                      Khaoula Khaldoun

                                      Financial and administrative manager


                                      Khaoula has held the position of Administrative and Financial Manager at MBLA since December 2018. She Holds a Specialized Master in Financial Management of the company. She is responsible for administrative and financial tasks, coordinates and supervises the accounting, helps in the preparation of budgets, Coordinates the acquisition of administrative services, ensures the good general management of the Association, it takes care of questions relating to human resources. Khaoula is also involved in the management, planning and coordination of MBLA events.