Morocco’s efforts to protect the environment over the last decades have earned the country international recognition.
Rabat – Morocco’s House of Councillors, the Upper Chamber of the Moroccan Parliament, has unanimously adopted draft law 49-17, relating to the protection of the environment.
According to the presentation, the legal text implements a series of environmental evaluations to all Moroccan policies, strategies, programs, and development plans that may have an impact on the environment.
The law establishes the norms of the environmental evaluations and reinforces the role of regional committees in studying impacts on the environment. It also allows for the creation of sub-regional committees to overview development projects and ensure their respect of environmental protection standards.
In terms of governance, the legal text insists on transparency in the evaluations through specifying the roles of every stakeholder, both on the national and regional levels.
The bill aims to complete Framework Law 99-12, known as the National Charter for Sustainable Environment and Development, fill some of the gaps left in Law 12-03, relating to the studies on environmental impact, and reinforce the sanctions mentioned in Law 12-03.
The draft law also sets criteria to differentiate between projects that require a profound environmental evaluation and those that only need an environmental impact document written by a certified study office.
During the presentation, Rabbah said the system of environmental impact studies is one of Morocco’s most important achievements in the protection of the environment.
The legal texts elaborated in the previous decade to protect the environment have allowed Morocco to meet international criteria regarding environmental laws.