The feeling of freedom brought by the desert and its end-less horizons give tourists the wrong impression that in the desert all is possible and with no consequence for the environment.
But excessive trampling, abuse of natural resources, pollution of vehicles, littering and chemicals they contain and simply neglect all impact to varying degrees on the desert ecosystem and its biodiversity.
In the early editions of the Festival au Désert, environment was not one of the concerns of the festival management team. But the festival has become a major event, and after realizing the damage unintentionally caused by thousands of visitors on our very fragile environment, we decided to develop actions to protect the environment.
During the 2011 edition, we have planned, financed (our thanks goes to the Norwegian Cooperation and the Italian Association 'Lega Ambiente') and run (a big thank you to our friend Hicham Lahyani who kindly come on site as a volunteer to coordinate the team in Timbuktu for the Protection of the Environment) a project called 'Clean Desert'.
We carried out among others:
- built up a stock of equipments for waste collection, sorting and simple treatment
- trained a local team on the collection and waste treatment
- dug a small area to stock, sort and treat collected waste
- cleaned the festival site BEFORE the start of the 2011 edition to remove waste produced during previous editions
- built a series of different bins for waste sorting
- emptying of trash bins several times a day during the three days of the festival and the transport of waste to the stocking area
Satisfied with the results obtained in the previous edition, this year we want to provide the same service while improving it. But we want also to go beyond!
Our objective is to have a 0 impact Festival on the environment.
It's a very ambitious project (a dream) to be developed on a medium-long time-span.
We have started by launching a brainstorm on:
- How to reduce waste production (and not just limit our action to waste treatment)
- How to substitute (at least partially) the use of gasoline to produce electricity with the use of solar energy.
We need to develop partnerships in order to be able to make our dream come true!
The desert is a fragile environment
Help us safeguarding it!
If you want to become a partner of the project 'Clean Desert', please write an email to the manager of the project: Mamatal Ag Azouber El Ansari
If you'll come to the festival, your best way for helping us is to have an environment friendly behaviour!
Always remember the average time that is required for a complete decomposition of some classic waste in most regions of the world:
- Box camera film: 20 to 30 years
- Show soles: 50 to 100 years
- Tins: 80 to 100 years
- Aluminum cans: 200 to 400 years
- Plastic cap: 450 years
Those years must be multiplied by 10 and more in the desert!
If you are not coming to the festival but you are sensible to environment protection and you would help us (this applies also if you are coming to the festival!), we have created a Fund to support our activities: just make a donation.