Today, climate change has become a reality largely accepted. Its effects felt and those anticipated encourage all political and socio-economic stakeholders to establish strategies and adaptation plans to face it. Caused by the increase of greenhouse gases, climate change is a global issue that requires a global response.
Morocco is being hit hard by climate change. It is located in one of the most arid regions in the planet where impacts would concern more and more the amplification and the increase in frequency of extreme phenomena (droughts and floods), ecosystems degradation, growing scarcity of water resources, development of emerging illnesses or more, force migration of populations.
Conscious on the challenges and threats that weigh on Morocco, IRES initiated, in November 2008, an important brainstorming on climate change complexity in its multiple dimensions: environmental, political, economic, social and human. It explores adaptation paths, through a holistic approach, to tackle issues as a whole and define durable and politically, economically and socially acceptable responses. It is, ultimately, about providing adapted solutions to challenges that the country needs to adress in terms of security, hydraulic, food, sanitary, economic and environmental.
The study program "Climate change: impacts on Morocco and global adaptation options" aimed initially to heighten awareness policy-makers on climate change impacts in order to integrate it into public policies. The methodological approach retained in the context of this program include a reliable scientific diagnostic with an interdependancy analysis between the studied phenomenon.
The first phase (2008-2011) is based on an ecosystemic approach and has the following objectives:
- To elaborate an overview on the current scientific knowledge.
- To refine climate change projections in Morocco and to determine the impacts, in particular, on hydrologic regimes.
- To further assess climate change impacts on the following ecosystems: the coastline, the forests and the oases.
- To study climate migration impacts and consider adaptation measures.
- To establish a benchmark on best international practices in terms of adaptation and mitigation policies to climate change.
This phase led to the organization in October 2009 of an international meeting on "Climate change: impacts and adaptation options for Morocco", to which national and international experts have contributed. It was completed by a synthetic strategic report, providing a national roadmap aiming to prepare Morocco to adress climate change challenges:
- By securing nation’s fundamental needs and in managing durably natural resources.
- In rethinking how public policies are conceived, in taking into account climate change effects.
- In including Morocco’s development within the concept of green economy.
- In seizing opportunities in financing and international cooperation and in increasing the visibility of the Kingdom on the international scene.
The approach through ecosystems, requiring an important amount of information, exceeding what current observation systems could provide, has been abandoned during the second phase of the study program (2012-2014), in favour of a more strategic approach, that of water, food, sanitary, economic and more globally human security. This approach to security turned out to be more in line with the strategic vocation of IRES.
While updating climate data, IRES has analyzed in the second phase the climate change consequences on water resources and security, in its different dimension. It has stressed out the necessity to have coherence between the sectoral strategies, to include climate change et adapt their temporal horizon, in order to take into account the impact, in the long-term, of this phenomena.
In this regard, many thematic studies have been conducted by IRES: "Climate vulnerabilities and development strategies", "Food and health security, amidst climate change: tentative for a coping strategy, in the context an integrated governance framework in Morocco" and "Transgenic cultures: what potential for development in Morocco, in terms of future challenges in food security?".