HomeSocietyThe ESEC warns against the severe degradation of forest cover

The ESEC warns against the severe degradation of forest cover

The President of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE), Ahmed Reda Chami, warned, Wednesday in Rabat, against the worrying and alarming strong degradation of the national forest cover estimated at 17,000 hectares annually, calling for a more sustainable management of forests.

The forest, which covers 13% of the total area of ​​the national territory and is home to 7 million inhabitants (i.e. 50% of the rural population in a precarious social situation), is undergoing a sharp deterioration in its cover estimated at 17,000 ha/year, deplored, Mr. Chami who intervened during a restitution workshop on an internal request on the theme “forest ecosystems of Morocco: Risks, challenges and opportunities”.

This deterioration of the forest cover is mainly due to the effects of climate change, excessive harvesting of forest resources (3 million tonnes per year of firewood) and overexploitation of fodder (2 to 3 times greater than the capacity of forest ecosystems). , he explained, adding that only 20 to 30% of the potential yield of the productive forest is achieved.

Recalling, in this sense, the great effort of rehabilitation and restoration made by the public authorities, in particular the implementation of the strategy “Forests of Morocco 2020-2030” which aims at the restoration of forest ecosystems and the promotion of these resources according to a sustainable approach, Chami said that the Council has proposed a series of recommendations based on three major pillars, namely guaranteeing a decent life for people living in the forest, encouraging sustainable investments and preservation of this forest capital.

Based on the diagnosis, the ESEC recommended the development of a concerted and shared vision, between the various parties concerned by involving the local populations, with a view to transforming the forest domain into a more resilient area, to mobilize sustainable investments and to promote promising sectors (aromatic and medicinal plants) and to create local economic alternatives to reduce the dependence of these populations living on forest ecosystems, he indicated.

The Council also called, according to Chami, for the establishment of a forest code which defines the rights and obligations of all stakeholders and facilitates the updating of the texts in force, the gradual increase in the area of protected from 3.76% to 30% by 2050 and the intensification of reforestation and natural regeneration operations via national planting campaigns by local authorities within the framework of their prerogatives, civil society and by the sector private.

It also involves the mobilization of existing funds (green climate fund, climate change adaptation fund, biodiversity fund, etc.) and the promotion of sustainable investments and tax incentives for companies involved in reforestation, as well that the establishment of a system of payment for ecosystem services (PES) in line with the volume of exploitation of forest resources and its impact on their sustainability, in order to deal with practices of overgrazing and overexploitation of tree resources and plants for various purposes.

The President of the ESEC also called for the establishment of an integrated and territorialized information system and the use of artificial intelligence in planting monitoring, surveillance and the fight against forest fires. forests, relying on the expertise of the private sector and partnership as well as forest certification, in addition to the development of ecotourism in protected areas, taking into account their cultural, territorial and ecological specificities.

This opinion was drawn up using a participatory approach with all the actors concerned, while taking into consideration the results of the consultation launched through the citizen participation platform “Ouchariko” on this self-health plan relating to forest ecosystems.



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