The city of Ifrane, located in the Middle Atlas Mountains in Morocco, has been awarded the “Wetland City Accreditation” Label by the Ramsar Convention Secretariat. The award will be officially presented at the 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP14) which will take place from 5 to 13 November 2022.
Ifrane has become the second Arab and North African city, after Ghar el Melh (Tunisia) in 2018, on the Ramsar list of Wetland Cities. This accreditation is a recognition of the commitment of the city of Ifrane to safeguard its urban wetlands for the benefit of its population and nature.
It should be noted that the province of Ifrane has 300 hectares of natural wetlands and 36 hectares of artificial wetlands, including four Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites). It is a province of wetlands par excellence, including dams, rivers and lakes.
The candidacy of Ifrane is the fruit of a rich collaboration between the Province d’Ifrane, the Agence Nationale des Eaux et Forêts and WWF Morocco.
What is the Wetland City Accreditation Award?
The award confirms the city’s formal engagement to protect and sustainably use the wetlands under their administration. The application of each city to qualify for the award is considered by an international panel of experts which submits its recommendation to the Standing Committee of the Ramsar Convention. At the end, it is the Conference of the Contracting Parties that approves the award, which will be reviewed periodically to make sure that the city respects its commitments. Thus, this is more than just an “award” but more importantly a mechanism to engage cities from all over the world to work for the conservation and sustainable use of the wetlands within their territories. The award cities engage themselves to promote the ecological wealth of the wetlands in their territory but also their social and cultural values.
In the framework of this new Ramsar-Wetland City label, a total of 25 cities have so far been accredited for their outstanding efforts to safeguard urban wetlands for the benefit of people and nature. Read more here.
The presentations of the awards were the result of the application of a Resolution submitted to Ramsar COP12 (Uruguay, June 2015) by the Republic of Korea and Tunisia. The support of WWF, MedWet and the Ramsar Secretariat has been instrumental in this process.