ARIMA what’s next?

ARIMA project is officially closed since the end of July. Due the pandemic and other constraints, the project implementation and training phases could not take place. The team prepared all related and required material and is waiting for a suitable time slot as well as official approval from Moroccan stockholders in the upcoming months to share it.

The project output is risk analysis for multiple natural hazards for the current situation and future scenarios. The results are presented within a GIS platform allowing spatial visualization and delineation of risk areas of the Marrakech Safi region.

Two documents are prepared for the decision makers of the region presenting brief and precise facts:

  • Risk profile for the current risk summarizing all relevant results, exposed and vulnerable areas.
  • Policy brief for the future scenarios providing recommendations on available findings and best practice to adapt and mitigate the impact of potential natural hazards coupled with climate change.

ARIMA is a first rollout of implemented solutions for disaster risk management in Morocco. similar solutions should be carried out in remaining regions to fulfill the requirement of the Moroccan Natural Disaster Risk Management strategy (2020-2030).

Where are we today? The ARIMA project has made very good progress and will be completed at the end of July. Due to the COVID pandemic and related constraints, the project duration has been extended.

In the meantime, the risk analysis for multiple natural hazards for the current situation and future scenarios has been completed. The results are presented in a complex web-based platform ARIMA. Stakeholders can already consult risk-relevant information in mapping, reports and related documents. By means of a geoportal it is feasible to create individual queries of geodata layers to support the respective planning needs.

The official roll-out of the system has not yet been achieved due to current limitations. Final events and trainings will follow as well.

Euro-Mediterranean Conference for Environmental Integration June 2021 In June 2021, UNU-EHS presented two contributions to the 3rd Euro-Mediterranean Conference for Environmental Integration (convened virtually –

  • The presentation “Empirical trends of regional land-cover change in Marrakech-Safi, Morocco (2000-2020)” (conference track: “Remote sensing and GIS for environmental monitoring and Management”) focused on the methodology and results of the land-cover change modelling, an important component of the analysis of future exposure within the ARIMA project.

Empirical trends of regional land-cover change in Marrakech-Safi, Morocco (2000-2020)
Authors: Mostapha Harb, Abdessamad Hadri, Jana Siebeneck, Davide Cotti, Elke Kraetzschmar, Mohamed Benhsinat, Konstanze Fila, Khalid Rkha Chaham

  • The presentation “An integrated regional assessment of drought risk for rainfed agricultural systems in Marrakech-Safi (Morocco)” focused on the specific results of the single risk assessment of present conditions for rainfed farming systems (bour) affected by drought events.

An integrated regional assessment of drought risk for rainfed agricultural systems in Marrakech-Safi (Morocco)
Authors: Davide Cotti, Mostapha Harb, Abdessamad Hadri, Mohamed Aboufirass, Khalid Rkha Chaham, Konstanze Fila, Mohamed Benhsinat, Felicitas Bellert, Michael Hagenlocher

Artificial land cover projection results for 2050

Presentation Slide

European Geosciences Union conference April 2021  In April 2021, UNU-EHS presented the main methodological aspects and results of the multi-risk assessment of Marrakech-Safi (current conditions) at the 2021 European Geosciences Union conference (convened virtually –, one of the most participated and prominent European geosciences event. The contribution “Assessing multi-risk through impact chains and spatial analysis: experience from the Marrakech-Safi region (Morocco)” was hosted in the session “Multi-hazards: Innovative approaches for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation”, and was highlighted by the conveners as being of public interest.

Cotti, D., Harb, M., Hadri, A., Trasforini, E., Libertino, A., Rkha Chaham, K., Bellert, F., and Hagenlocher, M. (2021): Assessing multi-risk through impact chains and spatial analysis: experience from the Marrakech-Safi region (Morocco), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12514,

MEETING Aug 2020

In August 2020 results of ARIMA were used for the first time by stakeholders to support decision making processes in regional disaster risk prevention.

The consortium provided the ABHT with exposure and vulnerability maps, as well as a description of the approach of the risk analysis. These results were included in their “Plan Directeur d’Aménagement Intégrée des Ressources en Eau” (PDAIRE), which constitutes a tool to support planning and management of water resources.

Maps on flood risk in Marrakech-Safi

Master’s thesis on drought risk assessment in the Marrakech-Safi region.

MEETING Jul 2020

The Cadi Ayyad University has launched research projects within the framework of the ARIMA project first at the Master’s level and later at the PhD level in collaboration with RESING. The Master’s thesis developed during the academic year 2019-20 focuses on drought risk assessment in the region of Marrakech Safi. It was carried out by Ms. Chaima ELAIR and successfully completed in July 2020. In the same framework, a thesis topic related to multiple risks in the region of Marrakech-Safi will be proposed to Ms. Chaima for her PhD (2020-2024).

MEETING Jul 2020

A virtual meeting was held with the Ministry of Interior to present the geospatial regional database and to provide a first look into the prototype of the ARIMA platform. The consortium reported on the following updates on the ARIMA geodatabase: a database structure has been defined and filled with all available data. Numerous external and internal data have been prepared and supplemented or improved by GIS processing (e.g. road network, hydrological network, dams etc.). In addition to the layers on current and future risk, further data layers have been newly generated such as land use, reservoirs, and critical infrastructure.

ARIMA web-platform

Virtual workshop on the risk scenarios (UNU-EHS)

MEETING Jun 2020

On June 10th, a virtual workshop on the risk scenarios was organized by UNU-EHS. The workshop was attended by over thirty regional experts from various agencies in Marrakech-Safi.

The participants were provided with an introduction into the latest generation of scenario techniques and were presented with a first draft of vulnerability and resilience scenarios for Morocco and the region of Marrakech-Safi. The presented scenarios were subsequently jointly discussed, evaluated, and improved based on the expertise and the needs of the stakeholders present at the workshop. The resulting scenarios will allow assessing future risks and will provide guidance to policy makers and practitioners in the field of health care, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, and sustainable management in general.

MEETING Mar 2020

The consortium provided the Ministry of Interior and the Wilaya of Marrakech-Safi with geospatial maps, produced by the ARIMA project to cover potential needs in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic (critical infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, rescue and health centers and road networks).

Information on critical infrastructure in the Marrakech-Safi region.

Meeting with representatives of Resing, IABG, CIMA, UNU-EHS

MEETING Feb 2020

In February 2020 an internal partners meeting took place at CIMA in Savona, Italy. The objective was to report on the current project status such as the progress on the hazard analyses of flooding, erosion and drought. Details on upcoming milestones such as the workshops of the scenarios of risk were furthermore discussed.

MEETING Jan 2020

Meetings with national stakeholders (Ministry of Interior/Department of Risk Management, General Directorate of Civil Protection, ANCFCC Directorate of Mapping, CRTS) and regional stakeholders (Wilaya of Marrakech-Safi) were held. The Consortium team presented the progress of the data collection and processing phase for the Marrakech Safi Region. Additionally, the first results of the work carried out in standardizing and harmonizing existing data as well as the generation of new layers (in particular the development of a land cover map which previously did not exist for the entire region) were presented. Furthermore, additional data were collected and the data standards to be used within the project were agreed upon with the CRTS.

Overview of collected and generated geodata

ARIMA Status Meeting Nov19, 2019

MEETING Nov 19, 2019

On November 19th a meeting was held at the Direction Générale de la Protection Civile in Rabat, bringing together the ARIMA consortium, representatives of the PPRD South project ( and representatives of the European Commission. Furthermore, representatives of the Crisis Management Centre (Centre de Veille et de Coordination (CVC)) were present. The goal was to coordinate ARIMA’s efforts on long-term prevention with the work conducted by the PPRD South project on response and short-term prevention. The results of the multi-hazard risk analyses that are created in the course of ARIMA could be assessed by the  PPRD South’s team to provide decision support.

MEETING Nov 13, 2019

A meeting was held at the Ministry of Interior in the Risk Management Department, in the presence of relevant national stakeholders.

The attendees were informed on the progress of the project, in particular the data collection phase. The project was presented and an update on the project status was given. The representatives of the Ministry ensured the support of ARIMA on the national level. The participants welcomed the considerable effort made by the consortium for the project and stressed the value of the approach presented to create synergies, coordination and coherence in the administrations’ approach to risk management.

ARIMA Status Meeting Nov13, 2019

ARIMA Status Meeting Oct15th – Nov1st, 2019

MEETING Oct 15 to Nov 1st 2019

Over the course of three weeks, bilateral meetings with 17 regional stakeholders were held. The involved stakeholders provided information on their role and responsibilities in regional disaster risk management. They discussed their expectations for the ARIMA project and how their organization could benefit from the project’s outcome. Furthermore, the stakeholders provided valuable information and data on the region. The ARIMA partners are currently evaluating and preparing the collected data. In a next step, the gathered information will serve as a valuable source for the subsequent multi-hazard risk analyses.

MEETING Oct 16, 2019

On October 16th UNU-EHS, supported by the other partners of the ARIMA consortium, conducted the workshop “Factors of vulnerability and risk” at the University Cadi Ayyad in Marrakesh.

The workshop was attended by 25 experts from the most relevant agencies and organizations at the regional level. Driving factors of vulnerability and risk in Marrakech-Safi were defined and their interaction was identified. The participants formed working groups in which they focused on the assessment, integration and correction of impact chains, a methodological tool developed to express the interactions of risk factors.

The results of the workshop are currently being analyzed and will eventually serve as an input for the subsequent multi-hazard risk analyses.

ARIMA Status Meeting Oct16, 2019

ARIMA Status Meeting Oct15, 2019

MEETING Oct 15, 2019

In the course of a meeting at the Wilaya of Marrakesh Safi, the ARIMA consortium presented the objectives and methodology of the project. The purpose was to inform all stakeholders forming the Steering Committee of the progress of the work and the start of the data collection and risk analysis phase.

On this occasion, the Steering Committee appointed focal points who will constitute the consortium’s contact points throughout the project.

A decision was made to conduct bilateral meetings for the stakeholders to express their expectations for the ARIMA project and for them to provide information and data on the Region.

MEETING Sept 11, 2019

On September 11th 2019, a meeting to present the progress of the ARIMA project was held at the Wilaya of Marrakech-Safi, chaired by the Wali of the Marrakech-Safi Region, in the presence of the departments concerned by the project and a representative of the Department for Risk Management of the Ministry of Interior of the Kingdom of Morocco.

On that occasion, the Wali appointed a follow-up committee composed of the relevant stakeholders in the Region, in order to ensure the coordination and involvement of the Region’s stakeholders in the development of the project.

A news article was featured in the regional press:

ARIMA Status Meeting Sept11, 2019

Meeting June 27, 2019

On June of 2019, the ARIMA consortium attended a meeting at the Ministry of Interior in Rabat in presence of several stakeholders, responsible for disaster risk management within the framework of the “Fonds de Lutte contre les effets des Catastrophes Naturelles” (FLCN). The purpose of the meeting was to give an overview of the project. Important topics such as the general concept, governance action, access to data and the final web-platform were discussed with the stakeholders. The decision was made that a steering committee on the regional level, represented by the Wilaya of Marrakech-Safi, will coordinate and support all activities within the project on an administrative level.


On January 30th, 2019, RESING hosted in Marrakech the representatives of the ARIMA consortium to discuss a common methodology to identify and evaluate the most threatened areas.

After these internal sessions, the consortium met at Cadi Ayyad University on January 31st 2019 with  representatives of regional public services such as

  • L’Agence du Bassin Hydraulique de Tensift (ABHT)
  • Le Département Regional des Eaux et Forêts et de la Lutte Contre la Désertification (DREFLCD) Haut Atlas Marrakech
  • The Civil Protection office
  • L’Office Regional de Mise en Valeur Agricole du Haouz (ORMVAH)
  • The Commission Culturelle de la Région de Marrakech-Safi.
Mr. Hassan Hbid, president of the University Caddi Ayyad

Mr. Hassan Hbid, president of Cadi Ayyad University, introduced the meeting.

Mr. Hbid talked about the University and more specifically about the Geosciences, Georesources and Georisks department (3 GeoLab) which is collaborating on this project.

Mr. Hbid then shared with the group his own view about the importance of resource management in the region, in particular related to Water.

Mrs. Felicitas Bellert – ARIMA project manager and coordinator from IABG – and Mrs. Sandra Mezzadri – representing IABG, provided an overview of the project. During their presentation, they explained how the project – co-funded by the European Commission – will develop a Multi hazard Risk Information Platform (MRIP), specifically customized for the needs of the Marrakech-Safi region over the next two years (2019 – 2020).

Moroccan government representatives and other attendees expressed strong interest and support for the project. 

For example, Mrs. Touria Ikbal, director of the Regional cultural office, commented that this tool would help rehabilitate historical sites such as the ‘Route de l’Eau (water road)’, created in the 12th century by a local Saint to help pilgrims go from the Safi region to the Mecca. Mrs. Ikbal emphasized how much historical, symbolic, and spiritual meaning this road has in the region and is a priority to restore.

She also expressed in an interview her strong support to the project that she says can only greatly benefit the region.

In a declaration given to the ‘Morocco Agency Press (MAP)’ Mrs. Sandra Mezzadri commented that the project contributes to the European Union’s goal of helping vulnerable populations build resilience against natural hazards related to climate change. She explained that Morocco was chosen for this project because of the country’s in terms of risk management initiatives. “We identified an essential need for a standardized and comprehensive tool where the results of all the local surveys in terms of flood, drought, and erosion impact will be rolled in and used,” she explained.

Mrs. Touria Ikbal, Region Marrakech-Safi (culture)

The afternoon consisted of a  visit to two sites in the Ourika valley that are at direct risk of disasters.

First, the team stopped by the dirt road leading to the Atlas Mountains to observe the small valley and its lively stream of water. In 1995 a sudden flood in this area caused 230 deaths with another 500 missing and huge material losses.

The group then continued  to the hydrologic Station of Aghbalou Sur Oued (Ourika) where they were able to witness a clear example of erosion caused by flooding. The team observed technical equipment of the station as well as the flooding scale set up next to the stream that helps monitor the water level.

Finally, the team visited the flood prevention and alert system set up by Japan in the basins of Ourika and Rheraya. The group observed new houses being built on the shore of the running river whose water suddenly carried away previous similar infrastructures in the past.

After another short working session on February 1st, 2019, the team left Marrakech, ready to move forward and take action.

Dr. Khalid Rkha Chaham, Project manager and geologist at 3GeoLab, University Cadi Ayyad