On the occasion of World Wetlands Day (WWD) 2017, the High Commission for Water and Forests and the Fight against Desertification (HCEFLCD) of Morocco organized, on 7 February in Tangier, an environmental event chaired by Mr Abdeladim Lhafi, High Commissioner, to announce the Wetland Strategy and Action Plan 2015-2024. It was also an opportunity to bring together stakeholders around the objectives that will facilitate cooperation to conserve and enhance the ecosystem services provided by wetlands.
During this event, the Head of Parks and Nature Reserves in HCEFLCD, Zouhair Amhaouch, presented the different axes of the National Strategy, which include:
- The inclusion of 30 new Moroccan sites in the List of Wetlands of International Importance (the Ramsar List);
- Implementation of 60 priority integrated wetland restoration action plans;
- Sensitization of nearly 50,000 people per year within the framework of the nature animation program for wetlands; and
- The development of 4 sustainable value chains for wetlands: bird watching, artisanal fisheries, integrated aquaculture, and fishing tourism.
The National Strategy was also prepared in response to Morocco’s international commitments under international conventions, such as the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The different axes of the strategy are also correlated with the targets of the MedWet Framework for Action 2016-2030 in the areas of the inclusion in the Ramsar List, the development and implementation of pilot restoration projects in degraded wetlands, and the integration of good practices for water management and wetland conservation into the national land use plans and policies in order to avoid damages to wetland functions and values.
This strategy aims to improve the heritage values and ecological functions of wetlands, promote governance and coordination mechanisms between public policies affecting wetlands, and increase knowledge of these areas and the mechanisms for their sharing.
“In 2024, Moroccan wetlands are managed in an integrated and sustainable way, ensuring the improvement of their ecological heritage and their ecosystem services”. With this vision and its mechanisms, the Strategy will become a tool for the integrated management and sustainable development of territories, one which is integrated into all public policies on the management of space and natural resources (water resources, coastal areas, soil, agriculture, tourism, urban planning, infrastructure, education, scientific research, health, etc.).
The strategy, which was funded by the German agency for international development cooperation (GIZ), is the result of the project ‘’Adaptation to climate change / Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol (ACCN)’’ which aims to build capacities to integrate ecosystem services and climate change adaptation into regional and community development plans.
The strategy benefits from a joint contribution by several actors such as the GREPOM/BirdLife Morocco, the Scientific Institute (Mohammed V University of Rabat), Moroccan wetland experts, and international partners, notably the French Conservatoire du Littoral, the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative (MedWet), and Tour du Valat, which will be involved in some aspects of the implementation of the strategy.
Full text of the National Wetlands Strategy 2015-2024 (in French language).
Head of the Parks and Natural Reserves Division
Directorate for the combat of Desertification and Protection of Nature
High Commission for Water and Forests and the Fight against Desertification