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Société Protectrice des Animaux et de la Nature (SPANA)

The Society for the Protection of Animals and Nature (SPANA, Morocco) is a Moroccan organisation, whose Honorary President is H.R.H. the Princess Lalla Asmaa, registered for the first time in 1959 and recognized as a « public utility » (charitable association) in 1976 by decree n°: 2.76.228.
SPANA Morocco operates jointly with The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad (SPANA Great Britain). SPANA is also a member of other international organisations including the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), MIO-ECSDE (Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development), MENAW (Middle East Network for Animal Welfare), RENAZH (North African Network for Wetlands), Med INA (Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos) and WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals).
SPANA has joint agreement with the Departments of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Education.
In order to carry out its objectives, SPANA has developed nine regional centres and a National Centre of Environmental Education. The regional centres are both hospitals and refuges for animals combined with facilities for welfare awareness and environmental education. The centre at Casablanca also includes equine therapy in its activities programme.

Date of Establishment:

01-Jan, 1987

Purpose of Organization:

- Assisting with the conservation of the Moroccan natural heritage and the protection of its biodiversity and sustainable use of its natural resources ;
- Education, training and environmental awareness ;
- Helping the poor or those with special needs through the animals.
- Improving the welfare of working animals and pets

GEF/SGP involvement:

-        Member of the steering committee of GEF microfinance project in Morocco (1999-2000)
-        In charge of the Moroccan small grants program of the protected areas, management project as ONG Apex (GEF TI023494MOR) – 2002-2008.


• SPANA work for the development, implementation and evaluation of various eco-development projects, which concern:

The environmental conservation activities of SPANA are part of both national and international programmes. These include:
• The management of the Ramsar site at Sidi Boughaba under the auspices of the Haut Commissariat aux Eaux et Forêts et à la Lutte Contre la Désertification ;
• Assisting with the management and planning of certain protected areas ;
• Partnership in regional programmes with the Haut Commissariat aux Eaux et Forêts et à la Lutte contre la Désertification (HCEFLCD). Recent examples include: a small grants programme, the equipping of the Toubkal’s ecomuseum, and a review of education, information and communication in the GEF project for the management of protected areas ;
• Participation in research projects, the monitoring and development of the World Union for Nature (IUCN), BirdLife International, Emeraude and Circle projects of the European Union, and the RENAZH project of Med Wet.

SPANA aims to raise awareness of animal welfare and the conservation of nature:
• By publishing and distributing information and educational materials and by organizing scientific days, meetings and visits to SPANA centres, national parks and reserves ;
• Through school groups and teachers with specific programs focusing on biodiversity, empathy and the basic needs of animals.
SPANA centres are equipped with classrooms, interactive exhibitions and instructive gardens, and also provide transport and supervision by specifically trained staff. The National Centre of Environmental Education was built by SPANA in 1992 in the reserve of Sidi Boughaba under a special agreement with the Haut Commissariat aux Eaux et Forêts et à la Lutte Contre la Désertification with the help of BirdLife International and SPANA Great Britain and funding from the European Union. It offers a program of specialised environmental education and hosts daily school visits focusing on biodiversity, natural resources and environmental problems, particularly in forests, lakes and wetlands. A permanent interactive exhibition and educational tours are available to the public on weekends and holidays.

Training courses target:
• Teachers and animators for the public reception in the natural areas ;
• Veterinary students from the Hassan II Agricultural and Veterinary Institute who carry out part of their practical training at SPANA centres ;
• Farriers and allied workers ;
• Mountain guides on the care and use of mules in the centre for training in the region of Tabant. In addition, SPANA participates in the organization and funding of seminars and lectures for students, vets and lecturers on current best practice in veterinary medicine and surgery.

The centres of SPANA are equipped for consultations, treatment and the hospitalisation of equine animals, dogs and cats. The centres, mobile veterinary clinics allow the treatment of horses, donkeys and mules in the souks (local markets) and when needed, to transport them back to the centre for further treatment.
The kennels and catteries of the centres also serve as a refuge for abandoned animals, which, after treatment and vaccination, are available for adoption.
SPANA distributes equipment to owners of working equines in exchange for those likely to cause injuries,
All of its services are entirely free and target the animals of poorer communities

A special programme for people with special needs is applied in Ain Jemaa/Casablanca centre in collaboration with various associations dedicated to their care.
This programme aims to treat and help these people through animals.
The center provides trained ponies, donkeys and horses, experienced personnel and specifically adapted premises for equine therapy. The centre also welcomes visits from children and people with special needs who can enjoy and benefit from handling smaller pet animals.

Other interests:
-        Participation in various studies on the development of agribusiness, the environment and conservation of nature.
-        Member of various steering committees or monitoring programs and networks for the environment, national and international (GEF / SGP, Med Cost, National Committee for Biodiversity FIFAL, Hassan II Prize for the Environment, Inter-Ministerial Committee to rabies).
-        Various consultations and participation in meetings and national / international conferences.
-        Various publications and supervision of theses, dissertations and studies
Countries in which organization is active:
  • Morocco

Contact Details
Street Address:
41, Résidence Zohra 12040 Harhoura
Harhoura - Témara
Telephone No.:
Organization founded:

NGO Information
Focal Area:
  • Biodiversity
  • Others
  • Organization Type:
  • Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)
  • Geographic Scope:
  • National

  • Contact Person
    Mr. Abdelhamid BELEMLIH Key Contact Person

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