Climate change

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 review the state of scientific knowledge,
  • To fine-tune the climate change projections in Morocco and identify the repercussions, in particular, on hydrological regimes,
  • To deepen the impacts of climate change on the following ecosystems: coastline, forests and oases,
  • To study the impact on climate migration and consider adaptation options,
  • To undertake a benchmarking of international best practices in terms of climate change and mitigation policies.

This phase, which saw, in October 2009, the organization of an international meeting on "Climate change: challenges and adaptation prospects for Morocco" to which international experts have contributed, ended with the preparation of a strategic summary report, that proposed a national roadmap with the ambition of preparing Morocco to meet the challenges of climate change:

  • By securing the nation’s basic needs and sustainably managing natural resources,
  • By reconsidering how public policies are designed, taking into account the effects of climate change,
  • By integrating Morocco’s development into the concept of the green economy,
  • By seizing opportunities for funding and international cooperation and by enhancing the Kingdom’s visibility on the international scene.

The ecosystem approach, which requires a significant amount of information beyond what could be provided by current systems, has been abandoned in the second phase of the programme of studies (2012-2014) in favour of a more strategic approach, an approach of water, food, health, economic and, more generally, human security. This security approach proved to be more in line with the strategic vocation of IRES.

While updating climate data, IRES has analysed, in the second phase, the consequences of climate change on water resources and security, in its multiple dimensions. The Institute stressed the need to ensure the coherence of sectoral strategies, integrate climate change into them and adapt their time horizon, so as to take into account the long-term impact of this phenomenon.

In this respect, several thematic studies have been carried out by IRES: “Climate vulnerabilities and development strategies”, “Food and health security in the context of climate change: a study for an adaptation strategy, within the framework of integrated governance in Morocco” and “Transgenic crops: what development potential in Morocco, in the light of future food security challenges?”

Based on the diagnoses and recommendations of the above-mentioned studies and on the conclusions of the meetings organized by IRES, a second strategic summary report was finalized in 2013. The report highlighted Morocco’s vulnerabilities to climate change with the aim of making proposals for public policies to increase the country’s resilience to this phenomenon. The report recommended placing the water issue at the heart of public policies, making food security a strategic priority, strengthening health security in the context of the development of emerging diseases and the setting up of appropriate climate governance.

The third phase (2014-2015) was characterized by the completion of two studies: “Anticipation and risk management of extreme climatic events and disasters” and ”The stakes and implications of COP 21 and COP 22 for Morocco”.

The work on the issue of climate change was crowned by the elaboration of Morocco Panorama in the world 2017. This strategic report was devoted to the crucial issues of climate change and the ecological footprint and was specifically designed to raise awareness of the global challenges facing the biosphere on the eve of COP 22.

Etudes CC ANG

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