Morocco Launching Adaptation of African Agriculture at COP 22 For Small Farmers Affected by Climate Change and Drought

white-book-enLike most African countries, Morocco – where 40% of the population still works the land – is already feeling the impacts of climate change on its agricultural production. Last year, during the exceptional season Ibrahimi describes – caused in large part by the regular El Niño weather pattern – Morocco went without rain for more than two months. Overall it received 42.7% less rain during its main planting season than in an average year. The impact on the harvest was catastrophic, particularly on the “zone bour” (dry zone) areas where crops such as wheat, barley and maize are planted. Ministry of Agriculture estimates predicted total output falling 70% on the 2015 season.
“Starting from the early 1990s, we’ve seen on average 15% to 20% less rain annually than previously,” says Mohamed Ait Kadi, president of Morocco’s General Council of Agricultural Development. “The rain now comes in showers instead of sustained downpours, and we see arid areas spreading.” As the host country for the COP22 climate change talks, which open in Marrakechon Monday, Morocco is determined to make this meeting the “African COP”.
Explaining its own experience and acting as an advocate for other African countries, Morocco wants to put the impacts of erratic weather patterns on agriculture at the heart of the discussions. No-one is underestimating the challenges. Water stress, land degradation, rising temperatures and deforestation are all playing a role. Areas such as the Sahel – including Chad, Niger and Mali – have experienced recurring droughts every few years since the 1980s, devastating harvests, economies and traditional farming ecosystems. In 2010 at least 7 million people across the Sahel were threatened with severe hunger and needed emergency food aid from humanitarian organisations.
According to the journal Nature, the viability of all crops in the Sahel belt will become questionable, with maize being the worst affected. By 2090 some 60% of land available for bean production will become unsuitable. Southern and eastern Africa have all suffered catastrophic droughts over the last few years.
Morocco is using the COP22 conference to formally launch its “Adaptation of African Agriculture” (AAA) initiative. As food security becomes increasingly challenged by erratic weather patterns, the initiative proposes measures such as improved soil management, water and irrigation management and better weather forecasting and insurance programmes for farmers affected by drought.
Although the initiative has received some criticism as some of its focus appears to replicate the work already being done by other pan-African agriculture programmes, Morocco believes its main contribution can be to persuade world leaders to sign up to a concrete plan of how to divide up the $100bn (£81bn) promised to support adaptation and mitigation projects in developing countries.
“We have to translate the big ideas written in western offices about responses to climate change into something that actually changes the lives of small farmers,” said Morocco’s minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Aziz Akannouch, at a recent conference launching the AAA. It’s about pragmatic responses – things like irrigation projects, developing oases, improving access to fertilisers and credit.
Further information:
Website of  Adaptation of African Agriculture”

Save The Date > Blue Eco Forum > 25/11 > Barcelona

diapositiva1Come to the 1st Conference and Festival for a more Sustainable Mediterranean Sea

The 1st Blue eco forum will be held on Friday 25th of November 2016 at the Maritime Museum in Barcelona. This unique event, co-organized by 4 international environmental NGOs, including EUCC Mediterranean Centre, and supported by several public institutions, will gather more than 30 international speakers and around 200 participants to discuss and promote the sustainability of the Mediterranean Sea.

In particular, the Blue eco forum, labelled as an official Marrakech COP-22 side-event, aims to:

·      Reflect on the economic, environmental and social state of the Mediterranean region.

·      Debate on the Blue Economy challenges and opportunities.

·      Imagine new models of Governance for a better management of the Sea.

·      Promote actions and solutions to avoid marine litter and reduce over-fishing.

During the day you will be able to attend high-level plenary debates with international speakers and participate to thematic workshops with relevant experts and policy makers. During the evening educational and cultural activities will be organized aimed at a broader local audience.

Don’t wait, book your free seat now! Registration

And follow us: @global_ecoforum  /   #BlueEF

Green Economy in the Mediterranean online survey


MIO-ECSDE, Medies coordinator, together with 2 more international civil society organisations (eco-union and GEC) have joined forces to shed light on the state of Green Economy in the Mediterranean region through a major study.

To this end, you are welcome to take part in the on-line survey here
in order to identify initiatives and understand perceptions on Green Economy,
open by 31 May 2016 (estimated answering time: 10 minutes, languages: English and French).
The results will be presented mid-July in a public event.

The organisers of the survey, the “Med GE team” are thanking you in advance for contributing to the efforts towards a ‘greener’ Mediterranean economy!

SwitchMed Connect 2016 in Barcelona from October 18-20, 2016: Bringing together Mediterranean actors of sustainable consumption and production

logo_switchmedThe EU-funded SwitchMed project will be holding the second edition of its annual gathering SwitchMed Connect on 18–20 October 2016 in Barcelona, bringing together leading start-ups and entrepreneurs, industry agents, initiatives, change agents, policy and financial institutions working on applications of productive, circular and sharing economies in the Mediterranean.
The event will give participants the opportunity to share stories, expertise and experience on eco and social innovations, exchange in interactive sessions and find synergies.
Launched in October 2015, SwitchMed Connect is home to a growing community of passionate individuals from the Mediterranean Region who are committed to shift toward sustainable consumption and production in Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia.
The SWITCH-MED sustainable consumption and production programme aims to promote a switch of the Mediterranean economies towards sustainable consumption and production patterns and green economy, including low emission development, through demonstration and dissemination of methods that improve resource and energy efficiency. It also seeks to minimise the environmental impacts associated to the life cycle of products and services, and, as opportune, to promote renewable energy.

Advanced Training on Sustainable Blue Growth

Dates: 4-8 July 2016

Venue: Adriatico Guest House, the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Via Grignano n. 9, TRIESTE

trieste_07Taking into consideration the current economic crisis and the evolving political, social and environmental conditions in the Mediterranean Region, there is a need to put together multidisciplinary actors from different countries, make ideal environment for constructive dialogue (science diplomacy) and create all conditions that include the role of people, economics and policies to attract investments while reconciling tensions and balancing priorities between economical growth, social implication and environmental conservation.

Tackling climate change, understanding ecosystem function, managing sustainability: all of these require a much more tangible initiatives and strategies. Hence, the EU Blue Growth initiative represents a long-term strategy to support growth in the maritime sector as a whole by harnessing the untapped potential of Europe’s oceans, seas and coasts for jobs creation and economic growth. Establishing appropriate training and mobility opportunities to train new generation of scientists, technicians and operators, in the marine and maritime sectors, equipped with appropriate skills to bridge the gap between scientific research and sustainable development and support the creation of career opportunities in the blue economy represents an important part of this strategy.

Deadline for applications
Applications must be sent before Monday May 2, 2016 at 17:00. Apply here

More information

One step forward in building a Mediterranean circular economy framework to ensure a sustainable future to our region

f0cebdaf-30f2-4ab8-ab9d-648e1ca93065Regional Action Plan on SCP for the Mediterranean was approved during the meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (COP19) – UNEP/Mediterranean Action Plan that took place from 9th to 12th February 2016 in Athens, Greece.

The adoption of this document represents a great momentum for the Mediterranean since it sets for the first time a common regional action framework to shift toward sustainable patterns of consumption and production. With this decision and the Athens Declaration, Mediterranean countries and the European Union have clearly reinforced their commitment to accelerate this shift.

The SCP Action Plan addresses key human activities which have an impact on the Mediterranean marine and coastal environment. It defines common objectives and identifies actions guiding the implementation of SCP in four priority areas namely Food, fisheries and agriculture; Goods manufacturing; Tourism and Housing and construction. These areas are the main causes of pollution generation and environmental pressures in the region. Click here to download the document.