H.E. Mr. Mohammed Maliki
Ambassador to India
Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco
Energy and Food security
How Morocco prepares a Better Future for Our Planet and for the Humanity
We all cannot disagree that a ‘‘Better Future for Our Planet and for the Humanity’’ is what we hope to achieve and has become a common objective. But, do we join the acts to the words or this remains a slogan void of commitment. Are we conscious enough to understand that protecting the environment should be the priority for all? This cannot be certainly even conceived without acting rightly and collectively by starting to change our behavior towards ‘‘Mother Earth’’.
Man is, undoubtedly, linked and uses more and more technology, to the extent it is becoming like a fatality. It is very important, therefore, to use technological progress for the service of Mankind to reach a ‘‘Better Future’’. Indeed, in contemplating the relation between technology and environment, we can count the endless benefits that technology offers to our planet in terms of protection of forests and less use of paper, the production of renewable energies with less cost and less carbon emission. The list can go on and on.
However, what can explain the deterioration of the environment despite more use of technology. The reason lies in our way of using and “abusing” this technology. Hence, it is time for actions.
Indeed, we need to optimize our use of technology and start looking smartly at its ecological benefits. Technology allows us to better anticipate and better forecast. The models that allow climate scenarios to be developed nowadays are based on modern technologies. The Data collected and observation techniques, based on technology, combined with satellite images and other means, like drones, allow us to assess changes in the climate and the environment and to predict how our actions could influence and make the difference. Technology helps us, also, to consume less, which is undoubtedly an essential factor for ensuring at the same time a better environment and Future.
In Morocco, the respect and protection of the environment, while ensuring a better future for its people and for humanity, is indeed a top priority objective to which all the Moroccan authorities are strongly committed.
Since the accession to the Throne of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, the Kingdom of Morocco has made a significant progress in many fields by putting people’s well-being at the center of all policies with the aim to ensure a better life-quality and, hence, a Better Future for the Moroccan people and the future generations.
Indeed, Morocco opted for renewable energies at a time when their cost was much higher compared to traditional sources of energy. By investing in emerging renewable energies’ technologies, the northern African country was able to ensure more than 42% of its energy mix from renewable energies and became a world leader in renewables.
Morocco’s adventure with the solar energy allowed the country to develop the largest solar complexes in the world “Noor station in Ouarzazate” which is today a unique example of excellence in the world in the area of clean energy; an area where technology serves the aim of a better planet in the future.
Located 10 km north-east of the Moroccan city of Ouarzazate, Noor Solar Complex is the largest concentrated solar power plant in the world with a capacity of 580 megawatts, allowing Morocco to save over 760,000 tons of carbon emissions.
Built on an area of more than 3,000 hectares – the size of about 4,000 football fields – the Noor complex produces enough electricity to power twice the size of the city of Marrakesh. This power station project forms part of the Moroccan Solar Energy Programme (NOOR), which aims to develop five huge solar complexes to meet the energy demands of the country.
In Morocco, the use of technology for a better future of our planet is not limited to energy but also to other sectors, such as agriculture, the being of great importance to our daily life. In fact, Morocco believes that the combination of a clear energy and a responsible agriculture is crucial to ensure “energy and food security” and hence a secured future for the next generations.
“The Plan Maroc Vert or Morocco Green Plan”, which is a revolutionary strategy of agriculture in Morocco, has developed the agriculture sector in the Kingdom and more importantly has increased the confidence of the rural population in their potential and hence strengthened the bonds between the man and the land; bonds that are existing since the creation of Mankind.
This strategy, launched by His Majesty the King of Morocco in 2008, has been using, technology to maximize the benefits from agriculture for the population, while preserving the rights of the next generation through a rational usage of water in irrigation, a scientific selection of the best fertilizers to use for each kind of soil as well as matching each type of cultivation with the different weathers and locations in the country namely via the use of smart technologies and high definition satellite images.
Morocco has also maximized its environmental benefits from technology by linking it to its ecological responsible strategy. In recent years, the famous Moroccan city of ‘‘Marrakech’’ has acquired a waste water treatment plant that can irrigate the city’s golf courses in addition to the palm grove.
This responsible strategy towards ‘‘Mother Earth’’ has enabled the Kingdom of Morocco to be perceived at the international level as an environmental friendly country. Indeed, since its ratification of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1997, Morocco was the first African country to host the 2001 Summit of the COP 7. Furthermore, Morocco was honored for the 2nd time to host COP 22 in November 2016, as recognition of its role in preserving the environment.
These COPs marked the beginning of Morocco’s continued engagement along with the international community, with growing awareness of the need to fight climate change and of the urgency to responsibly act in many areas to ensure a Better Future of Our Planet and for the Humanity.