Environmental degradation in Morocco represents an economic loss of 32.5 billion dirhams per year, or about 3.52% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). This was recently revealed by the Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, Leila Benali, noting that the deterioration of air quality has increased from 1.05% of GDP in 2000 to 1.03% of GDP in 2014.
During a presentation before the Committee on Infrastructure, Energy, Mines and the Environment in the House of Representatives, Minister Benali pointed out that between 2000 and 2014, there was a 20% decrease environmental deterioration, going from 590 dirhams per inhabitant in 2000 to 450 dirhams per inhabitant in 2014.
As part of the government’s strategy to preserve the environment, promote the green economy and manage waste, Leila Benali presented the National Air Plan (PNAir). This plan aims to reduce pollution generated by industries and means of transport, to strengthen the legal framework to combat air pollution and to intensify the efforts of stakeholders to solve air pollution problems.
The PNAir, which extends until 2030, includes various technical, incentive and legal measures, as well as awareness and communication initiatives. It was developed in partnership with all relevant parties, including the Ministries of Interior, Industry, Transport, Energy, Handicrafts and Health, as well as the Mohammed Foundation VI for environmental protection.
The minister also announced the introduction of an environmental tax on plastic to promote the recycling and recovery of plastic waste. Plastic collection campaigns have been launched in different regions of the country, allowing the collection and recovery of more than 7,000 tonnes of plastic. In addition, a program called ” Plastic-free beaches was set up to reduce marine pollution caused by plastic waste, she pointed out.
Regarding agricultural plastic waste, a management system has been launched in the Souss-Massa region, with a pilot project for collection, treatment and recycling in partnership with local cooperatives. This experience will be extended to other regions of the country, she said.
The government also plans to revise the legal framework relating to waste management, emphasizing the reduction of waste production at source, selective collection, sorting and recovery, as well as the principle of extended responsibility.
With regard to industrial pollution, measures are being taken to support industrial companies in their transition to a green economy. The minister stressed the importance of supporting businesses in their environmental qualification process by granting them financial support. This will reduce pollution by installing equipment for the treatment and reduction of liquid, solid and gaseous waste.
The Minister for Energy Transition revealed that support has been granted for the implementation of 96 projects aimed at treating liquid, gaseous and solid waste, as well as other projects aimed at preserving water and energy resources, with a contribution of 240 million dirhams from the Industrial Pollution Control Fund. She pointed out that 29 projects distributed in different regions of the country have been financed by the Fund “ Voluntary industrial depollution mechanism“, set up within the framework of Moroccan-European cooperation, in order to provide a financial envelope of 100 million dirhams to fight against liquid industrial pollution.
The Minister also mentioned specific initiatives to reduce pollution in certain sectors. For example, 40% financial support is given to the pottery industry to replace traditional kilns with modern gas kilns. Likewise, the olive mills benefit from financial support of 40% for the acquisition of modern ecological systems and olive dryers, in order to combat the pollution caused by vegetable waters, a by-product of this sector.
The Moroccan government affirms that these programs will be monitored and reinforced, and that the legal framework relating to waste management will be revised to put in place the necessary measures for their reduction at source, selective collection, sorting and recovery. , as well as the integration of the principle of extended responsibility.