By Hind Touissate
By Hind Touissate
Kenitra, Morocco- The World’s climate is changing on a daily basis and it will continue to change into the coming century at rates projected to be unprecedented in recent human history.
Morocco is no exception to this worldwide metamorphosis. The major impacts of climate change in Morocco will be higher temperatures, with marked regional variations, reduced rainfall and an increase in the severity of extreme weather events.
The Moroccan population has more than tripled over the past 50 years, putting the country’s natural resources under pressure. What’s even more worrying is the fact that Morocco’s economic activity is strongly concentrated along the coast with over 80% of its urban population living in these coastal zones.
With about 3,400 kilometers of coastlines, Morocco is particularly vulnerable to sea level rise and with most of its economic activity near the coast, climate change is a real threat to agriculture, fishing, water supplies, tourism and the unique ecosystems of the country.
Morocco is also facing a water supply increase in many Mediterranean cities, rising ambient temperatures, urban air pollution and an ongoing risk of earthquakes and tsunamis.
The costs of these climate-related events are estimated at MAD 1.162 billion ($150 million) in 2030 or about MAD 222 ($29) per person per year of which over 90% results from flooding.
For that, Morocco has joined other African countries to adapt better to the potentially devastating effects of climate change and has given high priority to this phenomenon.
It has ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1995 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2002. It has also submitted its second National Communication in April 2010 and has developed a national plan for climate change, which mainly focuses on developing renewable sources of electricity generation, particularly the solar ones. It has also invested in a range well-developed sectoral strategies, including the « Plan Vert » for agriculture which is complementary to Morocco’s plan to protect the environment.
Based on the foregoing, it appears that Morocco has made significant progress against a wide range of the MDG indicators including ensuring environmental sustainability.
However, even though it has demonstrated political leadership on this issue, the Moroccan government still doesn’t identify climate change as a category within its national budgets and for that, it needs a greater capacity to develop and manage this problem and requires more campaigns to raise awareness across the country and among its population.