According to the Court of Auditors, Morocco’s 11 national parks are in need of updated legal frameworks and better management in order to protect them and preserve wildlife.
Rabat – In its latest report regarding Morocco’s environmental conservation efforts, the Court of Auditors, headed by Driss Jettou, indicates administrative botching of the developmental and protective work aimed at maintaining the country’s national parks.
The auditors responsible for the July 20 report consider the management of national parks by the Department of Water and Forests and the Fight Against Desertification to be “unfavorable to the monitoring of actions carried out at the level of national parks.”
The court cites a need for Morocco to update its legal and governance frameworks in order to improve consultation mechanisms and catch up with the current times.
In 1934, Morocco first established legal text surrounding the protection of the country’s national parks. However, the most recent amendment dates back to 2010, leaving the past decade void of relevant developments.
Auditors also took concern with issues of land destruction and mismanagement related to modern agricultural practices. The report stressed threats to wildlife, including the clearing of natural animal habitats due to construction.
In addition, the report mentions a lack of visibility and shortcomings surrounding the attention paid to promoting the parks. The majority of Morocco’s national parks “do not have websites that can serve as a communication and dissemination interface to the various partners as well as a means of publicity.”
In the same vein, the report regrets that “despite the efforts made in terms of the creation of national parks, none of them is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site to promote them on an international scale.”
It adds, “It should be noted that even if some national parks, in particular those of Talassemtane, Khenifiss and Dakhla, have been on UNESCO’s tentative list for twenty years, their effective registration has been slow to emerge, so this that several countries, particularly in Africa, have undertaken the registration of their parks for nearly 20 years in Tunisia and Mauritania.”
As Earth experiences the damaging effects of dwindling biodiversity, the Court of Auditors underlines Morocco’s unique landscape and potential. “Morocco is one of the Mediterranean countries with the richest diversity in terms of vegetation and fauna.”
The North African country is home to more than 24,000 animal species and over 7,000 plant species. Currently, Morocco has 11 national parks which extend over a total area of 2.84 million hectares.
In order to best protect Morocco’s biodiversity and critical nature, the Court of Auditors urged local officials to update policies and take swift action toward improving conservation practices and better preserving Morocco’s national parks.