World Bank Supports Moroccan Coastal Communities

July 5, 2012

WASHINGTON, July 5, 2012 – A new World Bank project will pilot the application of integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) approach at the local level in view of improving resources management, inclusion and job creation in the Eastern Mediterranean coastal areas of Morocco. The $5.2 million Integrated Coastal Zone Management Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant, approved by the World Bank’s Board today, will strengthen the capacity of relevant stakeholders to incorporate an integrated approach of cross-sector coordination into local development plans.

Morocco and other coastal countries face interlinked challenges of managing the resources of the Mediterranean Sea. The ICZM project would contribute to regional coastal zone management issues by testing good practices for long-term maintenance and sustainability. It plans to provide the necessary tools to the different sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, environment, tourism, forestry, and local government to participate meaningfully in local resource use planning through ICZM approach, and integrating climate change and biodiversity preservation in the economic development processes in the project sites.

 “The local communities are the guardians of the coastal areas,” said Song Li, the project task leader and the GEF Regional Coordinator for the World Bank’s Middle East and North Africa region. “ICZM project will pilot a co-management approach between the government and local communities with broader participation from women and youth. It will help create a project implementation structure that serves both the project and as an example of how the coastal zone can be managed even after the project finishes in the pilot area.”

The ICZM project will pilot a three-pronged approach to improve coastal zone management:

  • Using an integrated approach to management in which all relevant government sectors work together in a transparent and decentralized way and in close cooperation with coastal residents and stakeholders.
  • Inclusive co-management focusing on women, youth and private sector. The project encourages entrepreneurship of micro, small, and medium sized enterprises through capacity building and piloting public and private partnerships.
  • Sustainability through strengthening the ability of local communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change and climate variability. The project aims to strengthen the capacity of government institutions and local communities through piloting real-world examples of how sustainable development can succeed in the coastal area and how it can be managed after the project ends.

The ICZM project is in line with the Moroccan government’s 2012-2016 program which focuses on rapid and sustainable growth, improved governance, poverty eradication, and improvement of social conditions.

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