Morocco launches its National Wetlands Strategy 2015-2024

Morocco launches its National Wetlands Strategy 2015-2024

14 March 2017


Abdeladim Lhafi, High Commissioner, the Ministry of Environnement of Morocco, speaking at the launch event

Morocco Wetland Strategy and Action Plan 2015-2024 was launched in Tangier on 7 February. At the launch event Zouhair Amhaouch, Head of Parks and Nature Reserves at the High Commission for Water and Forests and the Fight against Desertification (in HCEFLCD) said: “By 2024, Moroccan wetlands will be managed in an integrated and sustainable way, ensuring the improvement of their ecological heritage and their ecosystem services”.

Some of the highlights of the action plan are:

  • The inclusion of 30 new Moroccan wetlands in the List of Wetlands of International Importance (the Ramsar List);
  • Implementation of 60 priority integrated wetland restoration action plans;
  • Raising awareness campaigns reaching 50,000 people per year within the framework of the nature animation program for  wetlands;
  • The development of 4 sustainable value chains for wetlands: fishing tourism, integrated aquaculture bird watching, artisanal fisheries.

The National Strategy was 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. The 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.

The strategy it is now 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 was funded by the German agency for international development cooperation (GIZ), and is also a 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 organizations: 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).