By Magdalena A K Muir, Advisory Board Member, Climate and Global Change, EUCC
On the occasion of this COP, Morocco will confirm its support for the initiatives relating to the oceans which have been already launched and will launch a new initiative called ‘the Blue Belt’, aimed at increasing the resilience of coastal populations as well as promoting sustainable fishing activities, HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa, Ambassador of the Coast, said in a speech during the opening ceremony, which was attended by several personalities including HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.
“On the occasion of the COP22, the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection will join the Blue Belt,” HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa announced. “Building on its experience in the sustainable development of three Moroccan wetlands located on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coasts, the Foundation will take part in the creation of marine protected areas,” HRH the Princess added.
The day dedicated to the oceans at the COP22 “marks a historic turning point” as the oceans are part of the Global Climate Action Agenda, which reinforces Goal 14 of Sustainable Development, HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa pointed out.
Morocco has always been sensitive to the importance of the oceans on various levels, HRH the Princess said, noting that HM King Mohammed VI has made environmental protection one of the pillars of public policies, development strategies and the regional and international commitments of the Kingdom.
HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa highlighted the role played by the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection in raising awareness of the importance of preserving the oceans, adding that the foundation outlined since its inception 15 years ago five priorities, including the protection of coastal areas.
HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa cited in this context actions implemented by the foundation in this area, including educational programs for children and the youth, the organization of a coast week and the Lalla Hasnaa Sustainable Coast Awards, which aim at promoting original and innovative projects for the coast.
The opening ceremony of the Oceans Action Day was attended by minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Aziz Akhannouch, French Minister of the Environment, Energy and the Sea, President of the COP 21, Ségolène Royal, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, and FAO Deputy Director-General for Natural Resources Maria Helena Semedo.
The ‘Blue Belt’, Morocco’s Initiative to Boost Coastal Resilience to Climate Change
PRINCESS LALLA HASNAA CHAIRS OPENING CEREMONY OF OCEANS ACTION DAYhttp://mapecology.ma/en/slider-en/hrh-princess-lalla-hasnaa-chairs-in-marrakech-opening-ceremony-of-oceans-action-day-at-cop22/
Africa News- Road to COP22: Blue Belt initiative of Agadir, including video
Increasing temperatures, rising sea levels and ocean acidification amplify extremes of climate change. Finding a solution to minimise the impact on coastal areas has become a priority. As part of our series “Road to Cop 22” we’re in Moroccan city of Agadir to find out more about the Blue Belt initiative.” The Blue Belt initiative stemmed from the Blue Growth concept, launched by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation in 2013. It aims to encourage sustainable fishing, from seas and lakes to consumers’ plates, to allow marine resources to renew themselves. Better fishing practices lead to less food waste.