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Morocco signs €100Mln deal with European Investment Bank for decade-long forestry strategy

Morocco signs €100Mln deal with European Investment Bank for decade-long forestry strategy
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Morocco and the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed a financing agreement on Thursday in support of the Forests of Morocco 2020-2030 strategy, amounting to 100 million euros.

The agreement, endorsed by the Delegate Minister to the Minister of Economy and Finance, in charge of the Budget, Fouzi Lekjaa, and the Director of Operations for neighboring countries of the European Union at the EIB, Lionel Rapaille, in the presence of the Director General of the National Agency for Water and Forests (ANEF), Abderrahim Houmy, falls within the framework of cooperation between Morocco and the EIB and spans the period from 2024 to 2028.

This financial partnership is aligned with Morocco’s efforts, under the enlightened vision of HM King Mohammed VI, towards the modernization and enhancement of the competitiveness of the water and forestry sector.

Structured around three key components, the financing agreement emphasizes adaptation to climate change, the promotion of biodiversity, and the strengthening of institutional capacities for effective and coordinated implementation.

The first component focuses on supporting watershed development plans to rehabilitate forests, reduce erosion, preserve water resources, and soil fertility. It includes afforestation, assisted natural regeneration, mechanical erosion control, ravine revegetation, and the opening or maintenance of forest tracks.

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

As for the third component, it is aimed at providing technical assistance to ANEF in the preparation and implementation of the project and supporting sectors, with a grant from the European Union Neighborhood Investment Facility.

Speaking on the occasion, Lekjaa emphasized the importance of signing this financing agreement, 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 underscored the uniqueness of the forest support program, emphasizing the enhancement of greenhouse gas capture and contribution to clean energy.

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 noted that this funding is part of a comprehensive project that addresses various objectives, including crucial actions such as erosion protection, forest area development, and promotes an inclusive approach involving all local stakeholders.

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