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Delegation from Morocco

Represented by ESSEC Business School

Position paper for the Conference on Sustainable Development Rio + 20

The issue before the Conference on Sustainable Development are : the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and Keeping the Green Economy Blue: protecting oceans and fisheries for futures generations; as well as Institutional Framework for Sustainable development. The delegation of Morocco would like to express its gratitude for being able to discuss such key topics in front of all present delegations.

I. The green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. Since the ratification of the UNFCCC in 1995 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2002, Morocco is highly engaged in the protection of the environmenent. All the more so as our delegation has realized, in the past two decades, the necessity to promote sustainable development for its economy and its social development. This is why in spite of our very little contribution to global emissions, Morocco is trying hard to complete a dynamic environmental and energy policy based on the population’s consciousness-raising and on the implementation of legal bases. Keeping in mind that our delegation is dependent up to 96% of our energy supply, we consider sustainable development a real opportunity for the future. Morocco indeed possesses important ressources as regards renewable energies, especially with solar and wind power, but our country also intends to promote hydroelectricity and biomass. Promoting such sectors is a real possibility for us to be more autonomous regarding energies, but it is also a real chance to create new jobs for our economy, as this energy redeployment requires training and hiring a skilled workforce. Our delegation is moreover well-aware of the importance of agriculture in our economy, as it accounts for 20% of the GNP and employs more than 4 million people. This is why one of the main objectives Morocco pursues is to support the farming sectors, both modern and traditional, by promoting irrigation, but also productivity and employment. In the years to come with the help of the World Bank, Morocco will keep on investing to reach the goals set by our Plan Maroc Vert voted in 2009 regarding farming. Conscious of the consequences of our semi-arid climate, which harms vulnerable populations, our delegation also intends to complete the United Nations program voted in 2006 successfully in order to combat desertification and to eradicate poverty by safeguarding the southern oasis, which are a real challenge today. At last, by signing the new program UNDAF 2012-2016, initiated by the United Nations agencies in Morocco, our delegation wants the protection of environment to be dealed alongside with socio-economic development and the reduction of vulnerability and inequalities in the years to come.

II. Keeping the Green Economy Blue: Protecting Oceans and Fisheries for Future Generations.

Morocco feels very concerned by this topic since it has the privilege to have 3 500 km of very diversified shores among the most fishies in the world. The sea and its protection is a center stage issue as it is linked to tourism and to the fisheries sector, two of the big sources of Morocco incomes. Actually the fisheries sector is a major source of employment with more than 250 000 people working there. And Morocco is highly aware that its shores are not enough protected which has lead to severe pollution and over-exploitation of fishing resources. Today, countries such as Russia, Japon, Senegal, Gabon, Nigeria and many others have rights to fish in Morocco. This is why the Ministry of Physical Planning declared that “The Morocco coastline is a national heritage at risk”. Consequently Morocco is determined to take actions in this regard and has already taken some. Among them, Morocco has adopted a national environment and sustainable development charter followed with the collaboration of the UNO agencies present in Morocco. Further, in 2006 Morocco claimed its will to protect the oceans and 5 years after they have become an example of dynamism for Africa. The effects are real. A fund for reducing industrial pollution has been created, it controls that the firms respect the environmental standards. Morocco has also launched a national liquid environmental protection programme as well as preserving marine ecosystems and biological diversity programme. The result is that during the 2000-2007 period, the water pollution has reduced to an annual 7.1%. Our delegation keeps in mind that a lot has yet to be done and it is in this way the delegation will negotiate with the other countries.

III. Institutional Framework for Sustainable development. Keeping in mind the degradation of the quality of the environment linked to the overexploitation of natural resources, deforestation, desertification and air pollution in big cities, Morocco is highly aware of the necessity to involve both national and global insitutions in our promotion of sustainable development. Thus, aiming at a real efficiency and true improvements when it comes to sustainable development, our delegation intends to promote coordination, convergence and coherence between the strategies adopted in the different sectors. At a national level, such goals imply the intervention and the consultation of such Ministries as the Moroccan Ministry of physical planning, water and environment. It is the cornerstone of all the programs developed by Morocco over the recent years. Among them, we can name the SMAP III project - whose aim is to raise public awareness on environmental issues and to protect natural resources - but also the National Plan of Action for Desertification Control or the Territorial Plan of Control of Climate Warming. More local actions are taken with the collaboration of local authorities, non-govermental organizations and public organizations such as the ONEP or the ADEREE. Regarding sustainable development, Morocco is also well-aware of the importance taken by the UNO agencies, as for instance, the World Bank has recently granted a loan to finance the Plan Maroc Vert, which aims at converting Morocco into an example for the rest of Africa as regards agriculture. The protection of environment is all the more important so as promoting renewable energies is a real opportunity for Morocco to become more independant from foreign countries regarding energy supplies.