people sitting at tables listeing to a speaker during the WestMED national blue economy dialogue event on june 5 2024 in Morocco

National stakeholder dialogue in Morocco paves the way towards a national sustainable blue economy strategy

In the framework of the WestMED Initiative, the Moroccan focal point and the national hub organized the first High-level national dialogue on “The challenges of integrated governance and the roadmap for implementing blue economy in Morocco” in Rabat, June 5, 2024.

Chaired by the Department of Maritime Fisheries, focal point for the WestMED Initiative, the event drew over 50 participants from the main national institutions with a focus on the maritime sector or an interest in blue economy.

Mr. Matteo Bocci (representative of the WestMed Initiative’s Assistance Mechanism) and Mr. Leonardo Manzari (WestMED National Hub Italy) were also present and provided valuable insights into WestMED Initiative and the Blue Mediterranean Partnership in general, and in particular concerning maritime clusters, green-shipping and the newly created technical group for sustainable tourism that will be launched at the Sun&Blue Congress in November 2024 (in Almería, Spain)

In its opening address, the Department of Maritime Fisheries underlined Morocco’s commitment to the sustainable development of its maritime resources as well as its wish to play a leading role in preserving and enhancing marine ecosystems, and thanked WestMED for making the event possible and allowing the discussion of key issues for the future of blue economy in Morocco, ranging from integrated institutional governance, the Energy-Saltwater-Green Hydrogen-Biodiversity Nexus, the climate resilience of the national coastline and the fight against marine pollution, to approaches for a national blue tourism strategy.

One of the speakers was Paul Henri-Presset, Head of the Trade Section of the European Union Delegation in Rabat, who provided an overview of EU relevant policy in the support of a sustainable blue economy across EU seabasins

The results of the day’s discussions will be used contribute to strategic guidelines allowing the development of a coherent and ambitious national strategy.

The opening words also outlined the Moroccan potential for the blue economy and the importance of collaboration was stressed to maximize the impacts in favor of a prosperous and sustainable blue economy.

Four sessions were organized with a focus on integrated institutional governance:

  • Energy, Seawater Desalination
  • Green Hydrogen and Biodiversity Nexus
  • the need for climate resilience of the national coastline and the fight against marine pollution
  • approaches for a national blue tourism strategy in Morocco

Each session was followed by very constructive discussions

Conclusions and Recommendations:

  • Blue economy governance in Morocco should be supported by a robust national mechanism responsible for co-designing and monitoring the implementation of the national blue economy strategy. This mechanism should be supported at territorial level by the deployment of regional coastal maritime clusters. The deployment of two pilot maritime clusters in the Tanger-Tétouan-Al Hoceima regions should contribute to this objective.
  • The alliance of Mediterranean clusters is an opportunity for Morocco’s coastal regions to share their experiences and create networking and knowledge-sharing connections between peers.
  • It is proposed to organize a second high-level event dedicated to regional maritime clusters with the Association of Moroccan Regions which could be scheduled for October 2024.
  • Participants stressed the need to build capacities of institutional and private stakeholders in the various areas of blue economy. They also wished for their enhanced representation in the thematic WGs of the WestMED initiative, in particular concerning Green shipping, maritime spatial planning, and sustainable tourism.
  • The Ministry of the Economy and Finance stressed the need to map existing blue financing and its eligibility criteria, to be shared with public and private institutions and local authorities in Morocco.
  • Finally, in terms of research and innovation, the participants proposed the creation of a national cross-cutting cluster on the issues and challenges of scientific knowledge of maritime and marine capital and new green technologies linked to blue economy.

Contact the National Hub Morocco for more information: morocco@westmed-initiative.ec.europa.eu

 

people shaking hands Hassan Agouzoul blue economy westmed national event in Rabat June 2024

Speaker presenting during blue economy westmed national event in Morocco June 2024

Speaker presenting during blue economy westmed national event in Morocco June 2024

Speaker presenting during blue economy westmed national event in Morocco June 2024

Speaker presenting during blue economy westmed national event in Morocco June 2024

Speaker presenting during blue economy westmed national event in Morocco June 2024

Speaker presenting during blue economy westmed national event in Morocco June 2024

Speaker presenting during blue economy westmed national event in Morocco June 2024

 

Group photo of speakers and organisers of the blue economy westmed national event in Morocco June 2024