Creating Jobs through Protecting Morocco’s Coastline
Morocco sought to learn from India’s success in dealing with coastal zone overexploitation to help address sustainable management of its coastal resources for rapid and sustainable growth, improved governance, poverty eradication, and better social conditions to benefit smallholder farmers and fishermen as well as private sector investors.
In recent years, accelerated erosion of Morocco’s coastline coupled with severe weather events has affected coastal agriculture and human habitats. Environmental degradation and over-exploitation has induced diminishing returns from traditional fishing and increased the risk of significant potential impact on coastal communities, resources, and infrastructure investments. Moreover, the country’s fragmented and weak institutional framework and policies, and inadequate knowledge of coastal resources and management options prevented an integrated and coordinated decision-making process. Ensuring environmental sustainability remains a main challenge due to the rise in population. Practices involving sewage and solid waste disposal have resulted in salinization of aquifers, water supply issues, and loss of wetland, biodiversity, and ecologically sensitive areas.
The Morocco Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) project is helping to address sustainable management of coastal resources for rapid and sustainable growth, improved governance, poverty eradication, and better social conditions to benefit smallholder farmers and fishermen, women and youth as well as private sector investors.
The Morocco delegation was keen to learn from the good practices in coordination and management of India’s ICZM Project, with a focus on the States of Odisha, and Gujarat, which worked with several agencies and stakeholders across the country to deal with similar challenges regarding coastal zone overexploitation. They also wanted to understand the role played by studies undertaken by India’s National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) in building the database for policymakers and to guide stakeholders/beneficiaries towards preparation of the ICZM Plan.
During November 2 to 11, 2014, eight high-level government representatives and decision-makers from Morocco’s ICZM implementing agencies undertook a study tour to India, visiting key ICZM project sites. They discussed with Indian policymakers and beneficiaries the experiences gained through the implementation of India’s project, and shared ideas for creating jobs. The program for the study tour included:
- Understanding critical coastal issues and the strategies adopted under ICZMP in both India and Morocco.
- Meetings with Indian Central/State government officials and stakeholders/beneficiaries about policy framework, governance structures, and implementation.
- Interaction with officials of the State Project Management Unit in Gujarat and Odisha, and with beneficiaries and partners – government officials from the Pilot Executing Agencies, coastal communities, youth, private sector – on ICZMP activities.
- Site visits to Jamnagar and Gandhinagar in Gujarat, and Gopalpur and Chilika in Odisha focused on projects demonstrating livelihood enhancement of coastal communities, pollution abatement, protection of coastal resources and the coastline, participatory ecotourism, capacity building and scientific research enhancement of Chilika Development Authority.
The Moroccans gained understanding of innovative practices employed in India’s coastal management, especially aspects related to addressing the problem of overexploited coastal resources, protecting natural resources and ecosystems using sustainable practices, and how to use a multisectoral approach for integrated participation.
Following the exchange:
- Participants designed a follow-up action plan with input from the local beneficiaries and experts.
- There is enhanced cross-sector coordination among the Ministries of Environment and Tourism along with the stakeholders of coastal natural resources. For example, they jointly prepared their active participation and interventions throughout the visit and coordinated the preparation of the study tour report and its dissemination through a workshop.
- The Moroccan delegation and the World Bank team are discussing the possibility to engage in a new operation scaling up the project activities to cover the entire length of the country’s coastline. Those directly involved in the design and implementation of the project or expected to play a key role regarding securing the required political support all participated in the exchange program.
The duration of the exchange visit and the scope of activities did not allow the Moroccan delegation to cover all the areas of interest concerning their own project. Therefore, it was agreed that the collaboration between the entities involved in ICZM operations in both countries should continue.
- Be mindful of the right timing. For this exchange, the date for the study tour had to be rescheduled by postponing the visit from summer to autumn to have good weather conditions, especially to allow for site visits.
- When seeking to introduce policy reforms, composing a study tour delegation with technocrats and political leaders enhances the prospect of designing and implementing follow-up actions with the required political support.
The World Bank brokered the exchange, helping to identify a suitable partner for Morocco, and supporting the exchange with US$45,590 from the South-South Facility.
- Ministry of Environment, Morocco
- Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, India
- State Governments of Odisha and Gujarat, India
To strength the cooperation between both countries, the Moroccan delegation has extended its invitation to the main actors of India’s ICZM project for a reciprocal visit to learn from Morocco’s experience in ecotourism and valorization of natural sites that are fragile and/or weakened by tourism, and national initiatives such as the Morocco Green Growth project, Halieutis (for the fisheries sector), and the National Initiative for Human Development Support Project (INDH).
Mme. Bouchra Oujidi of the Project Management Unit, Morocco Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project, summed up the exchange thus:
“The exchange of experience with India allowed the Moroccan delegation to acquire a broader vision than that of the Mediterranean. Without this experience, the vision of the Moroccan delegation on coastal zone management would have remained limited, with only a regional perspective.”
Other participants from Morocco were:
Ms. Nezha Larhrissi, Advisor to the Minister Delegate in Charge of Environment, Ministry of Environment
Mr. Rachid Tahiri, Manager, Project Implementation Unit, ICZM Project
Ms. Bouchra Oujidi, Chief of the Environment Division, Regional Project Implementation Unit
Mr. Youssef Zamane, Chief of Service at the Regional Delegation of Nador, Department of Maritime Fishing
Ms. Ghizlane Ajemma, In-Charge, Environment, and Focal Point for ICZM Project, Ministry of Tourism
Ms. Nawal Zirari, Focal Point for ICZM Project, National Agency for Development of Aquaculture
Ms. Ouiame El Rhazi, Focal Point for ICZM Project, Agency for Agricultural Development
Ms. Sabah Tahari, Focal Point for ICZM Project, High Commission for Water, Forests and Fight Against Desertification
Mr. Shashi Shekhar, Special Secretary, Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change
Dr. A. Senthil Vel, Project Director, National Project Management Unit, ICZMP
Mr. S. K. Sinha, Director, TNP & ANI GDC, Survey of India
Dr. R. Ramesh, Director, National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM)
Dr. Purvaja Ramachandran, Scientist G and Division Chair, Futuristic Research Division, NCSCM
Dr. P. Krishnan, Scientist E, Coastal and Marine Resource Conservation Division, NCSCM
Dr. Nischal Joshi, Head of Operations, State Project Management Unit, Gujarat State
Dr. A. C. Dinakar, Additional Project Director (Operations), SPMU, Odisha State
Dr. P Chandramohan, Consultant, Indomer Coastal Hydraulics
Dr. Rajesh Gopalan, Manager of Chilika Lake
- The Green Morocco Plan http://www.maroc.ma/en/content/green-morocoo-plan
- India’s Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project http://www.worldbank.org/projects/P097985/integrated-coastal-zone-management?lang=en
- Morocco’s Integrated Coastal Zone Management http://www.worldbank.org/projects/P121271/integrated-coastal-zone-management-mediterranean-coast?lang=en
- Protecting India's Coastline: Gujarat http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2012/10/11/protecting-indias-coastline-gujarat
- Protecting India's Coastline: Odisha http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2012/10/11/protecting-indias-coastline-odisha
- World Bank Supports Moroccan Coastal Communities http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2012/07/05/world-bank-supports-moroccan-coastal-communities
- GEF:Learn - Large Marine Ecosystems and Integrated Coastal Management https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhgZlHs5l48
- Mangroves For The Future - Investing in Coastal Ecosystems https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x01_8on_51Q