Situated in one of the most arid areas of the world, Morocco is especially vulnerable to climate change, with highly variable rainfall and recurrent droughts producing environmental, social and economic consequences. Faced with increases in energy and food prices, depletion of natural resources, high youth unemployment, growing social inequality, and slowing GDP growth, Morocco has recognized the importance of reframing economic policies around sustainability.
The Moroccan government has already started to roll out several green economy initiatives relating to renewable energy, energy efficiency, water and waste management, sustainable agriculture and aquaculture, and eco-tourism. Additional efforts are envisaged around green fiscal reform, green finance, job creation, capacity building and innovation, all with a view to mobilise the potential of partnerships with the private sector.
Morocco’s commitment to IGE transition is outlined in its National Sustainable Development Plan (SNDD) that aims to reconcile economic growth, social inclusion, protection and enhancement of the environment by 2030. Adopted in 2017, the SNDD follows recognition that sustainable development is a right for all citizens in the Moroccan 2011 Constitution and the adoption of a National Charter for the Environment and Sustainable Development.
It is in this context that Morocco applied to join PAGE in 2019. Following a new government taking office in October 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reconfirmed the Government’s support to starting collaboration with PAGE.
Opportunities for green economy action
The SNDD has been identified as the key entry point for PAGE support. The second challenge area of the SNDD around green economy identifies 11 strategic axes, that could form the basis for action. Specific areas for PAGE will be further discussed as part of the inception phase to commence in 2020:
- Reconciling agricultural modernisation with sustainable development;
- Ensuring the conservation and rational management of fishery resources;
- Improving the value of forests to ensure their sustainable management;
- Including industrial acceleration in a green economy trajectory;
- Accelerating the implementation of energy efficiency and transition policies;
- Having a sustainable mining sector;
- Promoting sustainable crafts;
- Promoting sustainable mobility;
- Reconciling tourism with environmental protection;
- Promoting integrated waste management to implement a circular economy; and
- Aligning town planning with sustainable development principles.