Accelerating the blue economy: new study on the environmental and social impact in Morocco – A study on the environmental and social impact of the project “Accelerating the development of the blue economy in the Kingdom of Morocco”, financed by the World Bank (WB), has been carried out by the Ministry of the Economy and Finance.
The main objectives of the study, published on the ministry’s electronic portal, are to assess the potential direct and indirect impacts of the project on the physical, natural and human environment, propose measures to mitigate negative impacts, highlight positive impacts and inform stakeholders about the project’s impacts.
“The project is not subject to an environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) within the meaning of national legislation and regulations on environmental impact assessments, but this ESIA has been drawn up to comply with the requirements of the World Bank, the project’s lender, in particular to comply with the provisions of the Social Commitment and Engagement Plan (PEES) previously drawn up and appended to the Grant Agreement between the World Bank and the Kingdom of Morocco,”
explains the same source.
The study stresses that all the negative impacts are “only indirect and minimal”, and that there are no “direct negative impacts”, pointing out that the Project’s activities are limited to studies, training and support, and do not involve any physical intervention, civil engineering works or other activities leading to changes in the environment.
Furthermore, the Project’s activities do not envisage any land acquisition and will not cause restrictions on land use or involuntary resettlement, the document continues, noting that the Project’s positive impacts are “predominant”, including the promotion of marine biodiversity, the strengthening of gender equity and the inclusion of young people and women in tourism and fishing.
According to the Ministry, the study presents a mitigation, enhancement, support and capacity-building plan
“The measures proposed in this plan mean any device, action or organisation, the aim of which is to mitigate an impact when it is negative or to amplify when the impact is positive. The ESIA also presents a Monitoring Plan, enabling the implementation of the proposed mitigation measures to be monitored while remaining consistent with the Environmental and Social Commitment Plan (ESCP), drawn up in advance for the Project”, explains the same source.
To support the development of the blue economy, Morocco has decided to enter into a partnership with the WB through a Programme for Results (PPR), one of the Bank’s financing instruments. The aim of the Blue Economy PPR is to lay the foundations for the national programme and to develop the blue economy by strengthening Morocco’s institutional frameworks to promote the sustainable development of coastal and marine areas.
Accelerating the blue economy: new study on the environmental and social impact in Morocco