EIB supports Morocco’s forest strategy with €100 million

EIB supports Morocco’s forest strategy with €100 million

The European Investment Bank will support Morocco’s Forest Strategy 2020-2030 with €100 million under a financing agreement signed in Rabat on Thursday Dec. 28.

The agreement, which falls in the frame of cooperation between Morocco and the EIB and which spans the period from 2024 to 2028, focuses on climate change adaptation, biodiversity promotion, and strengthening institutional capacities for effective and coordinated implementation.

This financial partnership is also in line with Morocco’s efforts to modernize and strengthen the competitiveness of the water and forest sector. Structured around three essential components, the financing agreement emphasizes climate change adaptation, biodiversity promotion, and the strengthening of institutional capacities for effective and coordinated implementation.

This strategy highlights the importance of forest user populations as essential actors in the sustainable management of natural resources.

The first component involves support for watershed management plans to rehabilitate forests, reduce erosion, preserve water resources, and soil fertility. It includes reforestation, assisted natural regeneration, mechanical erosion control, ravine revegetation, and the opening or maintenance of forest tracks.

The second component of the agreement relates to the conservation of biodiversity and the promotion of ecotourism in national parks, with the conservation and rehabilitation of habitats and species, the development of adequate infrastructure, and the promotion of ecotourism.

As for the third component, it is intended for technical assistance to the National Agency of Water and Forests (ANEF) in the preparation and implementation of the project, and support for the sectors, with a subsidy from the European Union’s “Investment Facility for the Neighborhood” program.

Delegate Minister in charge of the Budget, Fouzi Lekjaa, who initialed the deal emphasized the importance of the financing agreement as marking a significant milestone in achieving Morocco’s environmental and socio-economic objectives. He highlighted Morocco’s commitments in the fight against climate change, including the commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45.5% by 2030, and the transition to clean and renewable energy development.

The minister also highlighted the uniqueness of the forest support program, highlighting the enhancement of greenhouse gas capture and contribution to clean energy.

Director of Operations for neighboring countries of the European Union at the EIB, Lionel Rapaille on his part emphasized the importance of this financing agreement, which revolves around an integrated approach aimed at strengthening the biodiversity of the Kingdom’s national parks and addressing the challenges of climate change while promoting the economic development of these forest areas. He also noted that this funding is part of a comprehensive project that addresses various objectives.

Rapaille noted that the program includes crucial actions such as erosion protection, forest area development, and promotes an inclusive approach involving all local stakeholders. He specified that this innovative program aims to reconcile various issues such as environmental protection, often neglected biodiversity preservation, and the promotion of the country’s economic development.

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