Geneva — Morocco was elected to the Standing Committee of the Convention on Wetlands “RAMSAR” as representative of the North African sub-region, for the period 2022-2025, on the sidelines of the 14th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP14), which was held in hybrid mode in Wuhan (China) and Geneva (Switzerland) on November 5-13.
This election “will allow Morocco to be part of the regional representatives for Africa in this subsidiary body and make the voice of the region heard in order to meet the challenges of conservation and restoration of African wetlands,” the National Agency for Water and Forests (ANEF) said in a statement.
On the occasion of this COP, the city of Ifrane received the “Wetland City Accreditation” Label by the Convention RAMSAR. With this label, Ifrane became the second Arab and North African city on the list of RAMSAR accredited cities, which is a recognition of the city’s commitment to safeguard its urban wetlands for the benefit of people and nature, according to the same source.
The awarding certificates ceremony was followed by a side event where the newly accredited cities shared their experiences with the Contracting Parties, notes the ANEF, adding that the COP14 was also marked by an active participation of the Moroccan delegation in the discussions of the various draft resolutions within the plenary and regional meetings of Africa.
The Director General of ANEF, Abderrahim Houmy, who participated in this event, said that since the ratification of the RAMSAR Convention in 1980, Morocco has embarked on the path of developing the tools necessary for the implementation of a policy of conservation and sustainable development of its natural resources, in order to reconcile the requirements of economic and human development with the permanent concern to protect its biodiversity, taking into account the ecological balance of natural areas.
In accordance with the High Royal Orientations, the Kingdom has adopted an integrated policy based on a responsible, inclusive and participatory approach, in harmony with the Sustainable Development Goals to 2030, said. Houmy.
“Forests of Morocco 2020-2030” Strategy, launched by HM King Mohammed VI, on February 13, 2020, carries appropriate and necessary responses to preserve and restore wetlands, improve the living conditions of local populations and reconcile the citizen with these areas.
This strategy provides for the registration of 10 new RAMSAR sites by 2025, in order to increase the number of classified sites to 48 wetlands of international importance throughout the national territory.
On the sidelines of the COP14 plenary, ANEF organized a side event on wetlands in Morocco on November 9, which was widely attended by African and Mediterranean countries, as well as international partner organizations.