The World Bank has announced a new $300 million loan to help protect the environment, boost employment and overcome energy challenges in Morocco.
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The second of two operations designed to support the shift towards a low-carbon economy, the Second Inclusive Green Growth Development Policy Loan (DPL) should help to promote policies that protect the environment and the livelihoods of the most vulnerable citizens, while developing new climate-friendly job opportunities.
Sectors like fisheries, tourism and agriculture, which contribute around 25% of GDP and are a critical source of employment in poor rural communities, are significantly affected by the depletion of natural resources.
The loan will help to support measures that improve the sustainability of these sectors and guarantee their long-term prospects. In agriculture for instance, the programme supports better groundwater management practices, soil conservation and more effective meteorological information for farmers.
The policies also support the preservation of fish stocks, to help ensure that the traditional fishing industry – that supports over half a million Moroccans – remains viable.
It’s hoped the programme will also help to support efforts to diversify sources of employment, through the promotion of industries such as eco-tourism and aquaculture that have less negative impacts on the environment.
‘Morocco has shown that even in middle income countries, the adoption of climate smart policies is beneficial for the people, the economy and the environment.
‘The choice between the environment and jobs is often the wrong choice. The 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to be convened in Marrakesh in November 2016 will provide additional opportunities to show that green growth is a reality in Morocco.’
Marie Françoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank country director for the Maghreb
According to the World Bank, the economic activity along Morocco’s coasts is having a significant environmental impact, exposing cities such as Casablanca, Rabat and Tangier to serious challenges that threaten their long-term growth.
The DPL will support the development of an integrated coastal zone management framework that would enable agencies to coordinate policies and investments and avoid conflict in the use of coastal resources.
The DPL should also support Morocco’s efforts to meet its energy challenges by developing the renewable energy market and energy efficiency regulation in the building sector.
Fossil fuel subsidies will be removed, resulting in significant budgetary savings and making space for social programmes such as health and education, while also helping to reduce CO2 emissions up to roughly 14 million tons annually.
‘This programme was designed to help Morocco square the circle of sustainability and economic growth.
‘It shows that the trade-offs between environmental stewardship and competitiveness can often be managed, particularly as the objective is to ensure that all Moroccans enjoy healthy and productive lives, and that the natural assets on which their livelihoods depend will be preserved for the next generation.’
Andrea Liverani, World Bank task team leader for the Inclusive Green Growth DPL series
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