Rabat, June 11th, 2012 – Morocco is taking key steps towards green growth through strategies and investments aimed at creating jobs and achieving sustainable development. It is among the first countries in which the new World Bank report Inclusive Green Growth: The Pathway to Sustainable Development is being presented ahead of the Rio+ 20 Conference to be held June 20-22, 2012, in Rio de Janeiro.
"Morocco, as other countries in the Middle East and North Africa region, is confronted by a number of economic, social and environmental challenges that need to be addressed in a sustainable way to ensure inclusive development,” said Marianne Fay, Chief Economist of World Bank’s Sustainable Development Network and one of the report’s authors.
"Green growth strategies will vary across countries, reflecting local contexts and preferences, but all countries, rich and poor, have opportunities to make their growth greener and more inclusive without slowing it. Morocco is ready to meet the challenge," said Marianne Fay.
Green growth should be at the heart of countries’ development and environment protection policies, according to the Inclusive Green Growth report which lays out an analytical framework to guide smart development and urges countries to value natural capital as they pursue the economic growth needed to further reduce poverty.
The report was presented at a workshop attended by Nizar Baraka, Minister of Economy and Finance in Morocco, Ahmed Lahlimi, Higher Commissioner for Planning, Chakib Benmoussa, President of the Economic and Social Council, Simon Gray, World Bank Country Director for the Maghreb and a number of government, civil society and media representatives. Participants heard about Morocco’s green growth policies and addressed the need to effectively implement these in the agricultural, industrial and energy sectors.
During his participation at the World Bank-IMF Spring meetings in Washington DC in April, Minister Nizar Baraka expressed Morocco’s strong support for green and inclusive growth, “Green growth is necessary and promising. Morocco is willing to push towards greater environmentally-friendly policies for the benefit of the country and to contribute to global sustainable development goals," he said
The report, which urges governments to think green when developing growth policies, debunks the myth that a green growth approach is a luxury most countries cannot afford. It points instead to political barriers, entrenched behaviors and a lack of appropriate financing instruments as the chief obstacles. The report also challenges governments to change their approach to growth policies, better measuring not only what is being produced, but what is being used up and polluted in the process.
“To sustain high rates of growth in the future, Morocco will need to invest in sectors that can efficiently leverage the country’s resources,” said Gray. “Reforms in areas such as water, agriculture and energy go precisely in this direction. Sustainability will be at the heart of the country’s development challenges and priorities for the foreseeable future.”