CLIMATE CHANGE COMMUNICATION AND EDUCATION
2. Climate change education and training in the country
3. Climate change communication in the country
i. Climate change context
Morocco is highly dependent on natural resources and thus highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Water scarcity, food insecurity, desertification, and shoreline erosion are growing problems in Morocco. Additionally, climate migration tends to move people into urban areas with high population densities, which increases resource supply strain.
Global Carbon Atlas (2019) reports the country’s carbon emissions are around 2tCO2 per person, making Morocco a low-emitting country. The energy sector is the highest emitting sector, contributing to around 69% of the country’s total emissions. The Climate Action Tracker rates Morocco’s Nationally Determined Contributions targets as ‘sufficient,’ making Morocco the first country (among those rated by the Climate Action Tracker) whose targets are in line with limiting global warming to 1.5°C as per the Paris Agreement. In 2018, Morocco was Africa’s leader in terms of efforts to combat climate change according to the Performance Index on Climate Change, which illustrates the country’s commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate action.
Morocco is a Non-Annex I (or non-industrialized) country under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which it ratified in 1995. The country ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2002, accepted the Doha Amendment (second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol) in 2014, and signed and ratified the Paris Agreement in 2016.
ii. Relevant government agencies
In Morocco, a range of government agencies implement climate change-related programs to improve the environment, protect and value biodiversity, prevent industrial pollution, and protect against desertification and deforestation.
One key government agency is the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Environment, which has an overall mandate over the country’s natural resources and environment and is supported locally by regional environment observatories. The Department of Environment, which is the National Focal Point for Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) to the UNFCCC, sits under the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Environment. In terms of strengthening climate governance, a National Commission on Climate Change and Biological Diversity has been institutionalized under the Department of Environment. Additionally, the State Secretariat to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development plays a role in raising climate change awareness.
The High Commission for Planning is the Moroccan national statistics office. It provides statistical measurement and quantification of a number of issues including environmental variables related to sustainable management of natural resources, climate change impacts, and risks of natural disasters.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forest supports the Moroccan agricultural strategy "Generation Green 2020-2030" and provides a framework for managing the challenges of adapting the agricultural and para-agricultural sector to the impacts of climate change.
Education and communication
The Ministry of National Education, Vocation Training, Higher Education and Scientific Research is the central organization steering and coordinating educational institutions in Morocco. The Ministry has taken several formal actions to introduce environmental and climate change issues into the formal and informal education system. The first of those actions was to establish the Directorate of Evaluation, Organization of School Life, and Joint Formations among Academies. The Directorate’s mission is to promote school life and extra-curricular activities in schools. This Directorate joined efforts with the Directorate of Curricula to introduce modules related to environment and sustainable development into the curricula, at all levels of formal education.
The Moroccan Climate Change Policy indicates that the Department of Communication is also responsible for “awareness, empowering of actors and capacity building” (p. 23); however, further information on their involvement was not publicly available at the time of the review.
The Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection was founded by His Majesty King Mohammed VI in 2001. It is one of the main funding organizations for programs related to climate change education and sustainable development and works closely with the government. The Hassan II International Center for Environmental Training is the Foundation’s center for distributing training and education initiatives.
iii. Relevant laws, policies, and plans
Morocco has several climate change-related laws, policies, and plans that recognize the importance of protecting the environment for the betterment of present and future generations.
Article 31 of the Moroccan Constitution (2011) states that “all citizens have the right to a healthy environment”(p.11). Article 71 of the Constitution addresses the extent to which the government is responsible for environmental protection and oversight by stating that citizens and the government should “abide by the rules relative to the management of the environment, to the protection of the natural resources and to lasting development” (p. 21).
The 2003 Law No. 11-03 on the Protection and Conservation of the Environment serves as a legal framework which establishes basic rules and general principles of national policy in the fields of environment protection and enhancement. However, the Law does not mention climate change education.
The Law No. 12-03 (2003) on Environment Impact Studies aims to evaluate the direct impact of different projects on the environment and, in particular, on fauna, flora, soil, water, air, climate, and biological balances.
Law 28-00 on Solid Waste Management and Disposal (2006) aims to protect the health of humans, animals, plants, water, air, soil, ecosystems, landscapes, and the environment in general from the harmful effects of waste. It also set a target for the country to recycle 20% of its plastic waste by 2020.
The Green Morocco Plan (2008) outlines the country’s agricultural strategy up to 2020 and includes aims to increase growth, reduce poverty, and ensure long-term sustainability. The Plan provides key innovative practices to promote adaptation to and mitigation of climate change. The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Environment is in the process of providing all regions with Regional Climate Plans (RCP).
Law No. 47-09 on Energy Efficiency (2009) aims to increase energy efficiency in the use of energy sources, reduce waste production, reduce energy costs to the national economy, and enhance sustainable development.
The Law Framework 99-12 on the National Charter for Environment and Sustainable Development (2014), published by the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Environment, governs water and solid waste management while preserving natural resources and spaces. The Law acknowledges the importance of environmental education, public access to information, and public participation in relation to environmental protection and sustainable development. The Law is the first of its kind in Africa and the Arab World. While it does not directly mention climate change, it is important for climate change in general.
The Moroccan Climate Change Policy (2014), published by the Ministry of Energy, Mines, and Environment, directs Morocco’s climate vision. The Policy coordinates the various climate strategies and plans already initiated in the country, with an operational framework until 2040. The Policy establishes a permanent and structured climate research program, ensures cooperation and coordination between the institutions involved in climate change-related research, and fosters the development of innovative climate adaptation and mitigation techniques and technologies. The Policy also encourages the promotion of climate change communication and education in schools through the development of specific programs.
The 77-15 Law (commonly known as the Zero Mika Law) (2016) banned the production, import, sale, and distribution of single-use plastic bags across the country as a larger environmentally conscious effort to go green.
Morocco also has a National Sustainable Development Strategy (2017), which aims to ensure a sustainable future for Morocco’s people. The Strategy works to integrate responsible environmental management with climate change adaptation strategies. The Strategy aligns with international practices, such as the Paris Agreement, and covers Morocco’s sustainable development challenges: the fight against climate change, the fight against desertification, and the protection of biodiversity.
The Framework Law 31.13 (2018) defines the scope of the public's right of access to information in relation to the Constitutional Article.
The National Water Plan (2020-2050) is a draft roadmap to address the country’s water challenges for the next thirty years. It covers all aspects related to the water sector and will cost nearly US$40 billion.
The National Climate Plan: Horizon 2030 (2019) outlines a national vision to increase Morocco’s resilience while ensuring a rapid transition to a low-carbon economy. Additionally, the Plan mentions that education for sustainable development is a priority, and will lead to behavioral change and, thus, environmental protection.
In 2021, Morocco presented the New Development Model Program, which offers a founding vision for Morocco’s future programs to 2035. The Program draws particular attention to climate change stating that “citizens must have access to a healthy environment, conducive to well-being; where biodiversity is preserved; resilient to climate change and to allow rational use of natural resources” (p.146). However, the program does not make any reference to climate change education or communication.
Morocco has a stronger focus on adaptation than on mitigation, which is evident in its 2016 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). Morocco’s NDC is ranked third in the Climate Change Performance Index 2020 after Sweden and Denmark due to Morocco’s mitigation potential in renewable energies and its favorable governance framework. The NDC mentions that the country is developing a national adaptation program, which was being finalized at the time of this review, to better coordinate its adaptation policies.
Education and communication
Although no law, policy, or plan explicitly provides for the implementation of climate change communication and education in Morocco, the country does have a focus on environmental education and education for sustainable development.
The 2014 Law Framework99-12 on the National Charter for Environment and Sustainable Development sets fundamental objectives for state action in environmental protection and sustainable development, and notes the importance of integrating these into the national curriculum. Specifically, Articles 17, 22, and 32 assert the importance of environmental education in promoting individual and collective behavior in order to protect the environment and foster sustainable development:
Education and education systems, training and training programs, vocational training are adapted to introduce the principles and guidelines set out in this framework, including the creation of disciplines specialized in environmental matters and sustainable development. The culture of environmental protection and sustainable development must be an integral part of the savoir-faire and savoir-être provided in curricula and programs. (2014, p.6)
The National Charter of Education and Training (2000) emphasizes the role of quality teacher education and training but does not refer to training in climate change-related issues.
The National Curriculum Framework, which is known as the White Book (2002), prescribes the guidelines of the Moroccan education system, and the orientations of the school curricular programs of each education cycle. Structured into eight parts, the Book’s first three parts relate to primary and secondary education, and recommends integrating environmental issues, including climate change, in subject curricula under Social Studies. The other five parts of the book relate to educational curricula for the roles of secondary education: Arts and Humanities; Authentic Education, and Science Education.
The National Strategy for the Development of Scientific Research: Horizon 2025 was developed in 2006 by the Ministry of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education, and Scientific Research. The strategy highlights the research directions of different institutions, with some, such as the National Forest Research Center, prioritizing research in climate change related issues such as environmental protection, sustainable development, enhancement of natural resources, and biodiversity.
The Moroccan Higher Council for Education, Training and Scientific Research launched the Strategic Vision for Reform (2015-2030) which develops a national vision for Morocco’s higher education sector and articulates 23 priority projects. While the priorities stress the importance of active citizenship and adapting schools according to the aspirations of sustainable development, the Strategy does not mention climate change communication and education.
The High Authority for Audiovisual Communication's National Charter for the Media, Environment and Sustainable Development (2017) encourages public awareness of climate change issues and actions, including increasing the impact of Morocco’s national media.
iv. Terminology used for Climate Change Education and Communication
Most of Morocco’s climate change-specific policies refer to climate change communication and education in terms of ‘public awareness’ and ‘environmental preservation,’ with some references to ‘education for sustainable development’ or ‘environmental education.’ For example, the National Sustainable Development Strategy (2017) states that:
Strengthening eco-citizenship is one of the main priorities of the National Sustainable Development Strategy...It Is, therefore for each citizen to behave daily as an actor in the preservation of the environment, by performing eco-friendly actions in everyday life: The eco-citizen sorts his waste, saves energy, protects nature and consumes responsibly. He learns about the best practices to be carried out, educates those around him about eco-friendly actions and tries to change mentalities and behavior. (p.45)
In education-specific materials, Morocco tends to use the terminology of ‘environment,’ or more recently of ‘sustainable development.’ For example, Article 8 (Education and Training) of the Law Framework 99-12 on the National Charter for Environment and Sustainable Development (2014) states that, “according to the measures of this Article, education must be through awareness programs, suitable academic background, and training regarding environmental and sustainable development” (p. 4). Additionally, the National Charter of Education and Training Reform (2000) and the National Curriculum Framework (the White Book; 2002) use ‘environmental education’ as an umbrella term for issues related to climate change education within the Social Studies subject.
In United Nations reporting on climate change communication and education, Morocco has adopted the language of ‘adaptation and mitigation’ actions to build ‘resilience.’ For example, the 2016 Nationally Determined Contributions states: “Morocco commits to restoring ecosystems and strengthening their resilience, through the protection of natural heritage, biodiversity, forestry and fishery resources” (p.27).
Morocco has also adopted the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) language of Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE), including raising awareness, access to information, training, and capacity building. For example, the 3rd National Communication (2016) highlights that:
The fight against climate change depends on everyone: individuals, communities, interest groups, public and private companies, local and national decision-makers. Therefore, it is necessary to intensify awareness-raising efforts by facilitating access to information, by organizing training workshops, deploying a large-scale communication campaign (mass or social media)… to build the skills necessary for a better adaptation to climate change and a more effective mitigation of its impacts. (p.81)
v. Budget for climate change communication and education
In 2020, the operating budget for the Ministry of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education, and Scientific Research was US$ 6.8 billion ( Dh65bn), up from US$ 6.5billion (Dh62bn ) in 2019, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance. However, there is no publicly available information on the specific national budget allocation for climate change communication and education.
Morocco’s Nationally Determined Contributions (2016) forecasts that, between 2020 and 2030, adaptation program implementation will cost at a minimum US$ 35 billion for the most climate-vulnerable sectors; namely water, forestry, and agriculture. The Access Guide to Climate Finance of the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development (2019) presents Morocco’s commitment to the fight against climate change. It explains the methodology for identifying territorial projects eligible for climate financing and gives an overview of the different existing financing possibilities.
Improving access to finance is a major focus of Morocco’s Climate Change Policy, where it has developed a strategic program with the Green Climate Fund which consists of a portfolio of 18 adaptation and mitigation projects covering a multitude of priority sectors.
i. Climate change in pre-primary, primary, and secondary education
Environmental education is taught directly across all levels of the Moroccan education system, and climate change education is encouraged through a range of topics and activities. A description of the types of climate change-related keywords discussed in the curricula may be found in the MECCE Project Monitoring section of this profile.
The White Book (2002) encourages the integration of environmental topics from the first years of pre-primary education to the last year of secondary school. Although climate change education is not always explicitly mentioned in these topics, environmental responsibility is included as a topic throughout. For example, at the pre-primary level, Arabic Language as a subject encourages “visiting the Zoo, preserving plants, and knowing some birds” (White Book, 2002, p.14).
According to the country’s Pedagogical Guide for Primary Education, environmental and ecological education topics are dealt with throughout the primary years in subjects such as Islamic Education, Arabic Language, Scientific Activity, and Social Studies. Climate change is not directly referenced in these subjects, but related topics such as water scarcity and preservation, environmental protection, pollution, and desertification are addressed.
The White Book Part 3 (2002) for lower secondary education indicates that learners are provided with several competencies related to climate change education. Through the Islamic Education subject, aspects of the environment are encouraged. The Arabic Language subject mandates schools to use texts on topics such as drought and the environment; the Geography subject includes an examination of natural resources; and the Life Sciences and Earth subjects looks more explicitly at climate change issues and air pollution.
Beyond the curriculum, the Moroccan government provides other opportunities for schools and students to engage in environmental learning, sometimes with elements of climate change education. For instance, the Ministry of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education and Scientific Research works to foster a civic environmental culture in schools through local and regional programs related to environmental issues. An example is the One Student, One Tree, One School, One Forest project, where an estimated 6 million students have planted seeds and cuttings on their school grounds and surrounding areas. Pedagogical activities such as workshops educate students about the value of forests, planting, and green spaces are offered before and after each planting activity. In addition, the Ministry of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education, and Scientific Research collaborates with the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection to offer an Eco-Schools program. The Eco-Schools program (an international program of the Foundation for Environmental Education) encourages young people to engage with the environment through climate action. For example, the program educates students about positive ecological principles with regard to water, energy, and waste management.
The Mohammed VI Foundation for the Environmental Protection, in partnership with the Ministry of National Education, implemented a new project entitled "Global Schools Program" in 2020. This is a UN Sustainable Development Solution Network-Youth (SDSN-Youth) project in support of UNESCO’s Global Action Program on Education for Sustainable Development (GAP-ESD). The Global Schools Program aims to transform learning environments globally and make schools hubs of education and leadership on the Sustainable Development Goals. The project aims to empower students to prioritize sustainable development in their lifestyles, behaviors, education, and careers. The Global Schools Program runs a pilot phase in Morocco, Ghana, and Türkiye. A large-scale report on the pilot study results and progress, as well as a more detailed final report specific to each country (2021) was officially published in conjunction with the UNESCO World Conference on ESD. At the national level, the Mohammed VI Foundation for the Environmental Protection, through its academic entity the Hassan II International Environmental Training Center, has gathered major actors to launch the pilot phase, especially the Ministry of National Education which is also a member of the Mission 4.7’s High Advisory Committee, to reinforce three international concepts (Sustainable Development Goals, 21st century skills, Global Citizenship) into the national curricula.
Since 2002, the Moroccan Ministry of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education and Scientific Research has collaborated with the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection on the Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) program. Coordinated by the Foundation for Environmental Education, the YRE is an award-winning global network of passionate young people who are challenging the status quo through engaging and creative socio-ecological journalism, which is implemented in 34 countries. The 19th edition of the YRE competition (2020/2021) invites Moroccan middle and high school students to write on the themes of land and sea biodiversity, which culminated in the selection of 20 national award-winning works.
Several non-state actors also take part in climate change education initiatives. For example, Care Morocco has been working with climate change and resilience as a cross-cutting theme since 2007. Today, CARE Morocco has integrated climate change and resilience in all its programs. In their pre-primary education programs, participating schools create pedagogical gardens and use recycled objects during their pedagogical activities. Moreover, CARE Morocco’s pre-primary education projects foster climate resilience, including by providing training for administrators, managers, and pre-school owners, which has allowed them to increase their incomes and ability to withstand economic risks.
Morocco’s Nationally Determined Contributions (2016) aims to ensure the “development of specialized academic curricula on climate risk and climate change in training and educational institutions” (p. 37).
ii. Climate change in teacher training and teaching resources
Some activities have been undertaken in Morocco to improve teacher training in climate change education, however, there is still much more to be done.
According to the Analytical Report on the Implementation of the National Charter on Education and Training (2014), substantial proportions of teachers across Moroccan schools lack adequate academic qualifications and readiness for the challenges of a changing society. This is in part due to the Charter not prioritizing a continuous teacher training component.
Created in 1994, the Association of Teachers of Life and Earth Sciences of Morocco is a development and education network which includes 39 departments and 18 Environmental Education Centers. The Association aims to contribute to building a modern and united society following the principles and values of environmental education. Its activities include training teachers, especially those responsible for school environmental clubs. The Association is a member of the Civil Society Platform (CSC), which aims to improve awareness of climate change threats and integrate climate change into public policies in order to foster behavior changes in Moroccan citizens.
the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection organizes a number of events and offers training possibilities for teachers. For example, in 2012, as part of the preparations for Rio+20, the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection organized a participatory forum adjacent to the 10-year anniversary of the ‘Young Reporters for the Environment’ program, an international program run by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). This forum brought together the winners of the Young Reporters for the Environment program, professors, media representatives, civil society representatives, and professional associations from both the public and private sector, and linked to the United Nations theme of Education and Awareness for Responsible Consumption. The forum’s recommendations included developing training programs for Moroccan teachers and educators to equip them with the necessary skills for incorporating topics related to environmental protection as a subset of climate change education. However, it is unclear whether any further action has been taken on these recommendations. Additionally, the Foundation through its Hassan II International Center for Environmental Training offers training programs, such as workshops, webinars, and meetings, to teachers.
iii. Climate change in higher education
Despite a lack of strategic direction to incorporate climate education into Moroccan higher education, a number of institutions are engaging with environmental and climate change education. The 3rd National Communication mentions that “research in the field of climate change, both for the mitigation and adaptation, are carried out by universities and engineering schools” (2016, p.195).
While a review of academic programs indicates that climate change education is rarely mentioned in degree titles, a large proportion of Bachelor, Master’s, and Doctoral programs cover climate change-related content, including through programs focused on environmental and natural resource protection. For example, there is a Bachelor’s degree in Water and Environment provided by the Cady Ayyad University in Marrakesh; a Master’s degree in Environment and Sustainable Development by Mohammed I in Oujda; a Master's degree in Environmental Sciences by Abdel Malek Saadi University in Tangier; a Doctoral program on Biodiversity Conservation and Management by Mohammed V University in Rabat; and a Master's degree on Change and Sustainable Development from Ibn Tofail University in Kenitra. Additionally, Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane city provides a space for promoting climate change education through clubs that stress the social aspects of climate change and environmental protection, such as organizing awareness campaigns to fight plastic bag use or encourage efficient energy use.
The Moroccan Climate Change Policy (2014) aims to “integrate further science and climate engineering in university curricula and training of engineers” (p.22).
In March 2021, the African Green Universities Network was launched by the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection’s Hassan II International Centre for Environmental Training in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme. The Hassan II International Center for Environmental Training works to implement the greening concepts into African universities and youth networks. The Network has three pillars focused on education, training, and networking and aims to promote the integration of environmental and sustainable development concerns into teaching and research. At the same time, efforts are being made by the the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection to enhance the community involvement of students and young people, encouraging them to better contribute to the implementation of activities within the framework of sustainable development. The African Green Universities and African Youth Climate Hub, also run by the Hassan II International Centre for Environmental Training and launched in 2019, brings together 20 universities from 7 African countries (Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Comoros Islands, Kenya, and Mauritania).
iv. Climate change in training and adult learning
Training and adult learning in climate change is supported through many initiatives in Morocco. In the National Climate Plan: Horizon 2030, Measure 5.1.1 aims to “train teachers on the issue of climate change and its national and global challenges” (p.73).
The Moroccan Climate Change Policy stresses the importance of empowering “public actors and capacity building to take ownership of the vision, concepts and integrated approach to the fight against [climate change] and for them to incorporate elements of the international climate regime” (2014, p.23). Also, the Policy aims to “strengthen human and technical capacities of 4C actors regarding statistical tools and efficient modeling in order to perform better the tasks of monitoring, climate forecasting and making projections of GHG emissions trend at sectoral level” (p. 23).
The Climate Change Competence Center (4CMorocco) is a national platform for dialogue and capacity-building for various actors on climate change. 4C Morocco has a training catalog and is also able to provide on-demand training tailored to beneficiaries’ needs. For example, 4C Morocco has been particularly active in building capacity in climate finance. As part of an agreement between the Institute of Finance and 4C Morocco, the Moroccan financial and public sectors were involved in training in 2017. In 2018, an agreement between the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises and 4C Morocco held five regional ‘Business and Climate Change’ workshops for 50 Moroccan companies. In addition, the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM) has also set up the ‘Entreprises Climat Maroc’ initiative, which aims to integrate climate risks and opportunities into the development plans of Moroccan companies.
There are also organizations delivering workshops on international climate finance at national and international levels. For example, as part of a Franco-Moroccan cooperation program, the Moroccan government and the European Union launched the Institutes of Training on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Jobs, with locations in Oujda, Tangiers, and Ouarzazate in 2016. The Institutes focus on renewables and energy efficiency, including on supplying the growing staffing needs that have emerged through the development of wind farms and solar stations. The facilities are expected to train 1,500 new technicians every year in a wide variety of renewable segments. Additionally, the institutes are planning a series of webinars for COP26, which support Moroccan non-state actors, in particular the private sector, in transitioning to a low-carbon economy and resilience to climate change.
In the south of Morocco, more than 100 street vendors in the Guelmim region have benefited from a project that aims to change behavior and raise awareness of the importance of environmental protection, including climate change by using more energy efficient vehicles. This project involves training courses conducted by the Association of Teachers of Life and Earth Sciences of Morocco in partnership with the National Initiative for Human Development in Guelmim.
In 2021, the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection launched the pedagogical tool ‘Territorial Laboratories for Environmental Training.’ It aims to extend the Hassan II International Center for Environmental Training into 12 regions of Morocco. These Laboratories intend to strengthen ESD uptake through locally-based education through a comprehensive program focused on capacity building, training sessions, and emergency responses in several thematic areas including biodiversity, climate change, pollution, oceans, gardens, and parks.
Finally, the 3rd National Communication highlights that:
One of the major concerns of the Green Morocco Plan (2008) lies in the sustainable management of environmental and natural resources and the integration of climate change considerations. Therefore, to obtain good results, we should develop a series of training sessions on adaptation techniques to climate change (2016, p.143).
i. Climate change and public awareness
Some of Morocco’s national climate policies mention public awareness campaigns. For example, the National Sustainable Development Strategy 2030 (2017) and the Framework Law 99-12 on the National Charter for Environment and Sustainable Development focus on reinforcing eco-citizenship and climate change action through raising the awareness of all stakeholders and citizens to support societal transformations.
The Department of Environment launched its Proximity Strategy in 2008 to communicate with, and raise awareness among, local partners concerning environmental issues as a response to government policies focused on enhancing capacity at the sub-national level. A partnership approach is a central pillar of the Proximity Strategy, in which local actors implement programs to improve liquid and solid waste management; air quality protection; industrial pollution prevention; and biodiversity, environmental awareness, and education preservation and enhancement.
AESVT Morocco has created a network of 18 Environmental and Sustainable Development Education Centers in partnership with the Ministry of National Education. The centers are located in 18 towns in Morocco and focus on educating, training, and raising awareness on territorial, national, and international environmental issues with the aim of developing eco-citizenship.
The Youth Movement for the Climate-Morocco was created in April 2021 at the Faculty of Legal, Economic, and Social Sciences of the city of Mohammedia, during its founding general assembly. The Movement aims to increase awareness of climate change by persuading decision-makers to adopt realistic and ambitious national climate policies, and by strengthening international cooperation between Moroccan and global youth. The Movement also seeks to contribute to educating and mobilizing young people to face climate change and environmental disasters with a focus on ecological transitions through the implementation of ambitious responses to international conventions.
In addition, various initiatives have also been launched by Moroccan schools. For instance, the Casablanca-Settat Regional Academy of Education and Training launched an environmental initiative to plant 50,000 trees in the land surrounding the region’s schools by 2017. The initiative’s motto is "A tree for each student," the initiative aims to improve students’ understanding of climate change issues. As part of the initiative, each student is responsible for taking care of the tree they plant throughout their schooling, which gives them the opportunity to follow the tree’s growth, and teaches them to care for the environment. This initiative was launched in partnership with the High Commissioner for Water and Forests and the Fight Against Desertification.
In 2017, the President of the Mohammed VI Foundation for the Environmental Protection and Princess Lalla Hasnaa chaired a signing ceremony for a memorandum of understanding between her Foundation and the executive secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to define an eco-schools-related collaboration between the two institutions. The memorandum provides for cooperation between the two parties for the implementation of Article 6 of the UNFCCC relating to education, training, public awareness, public access to information, and international cooperation, as well as the promotion, development, and implementation of education and training programs focused on climate change.
In 2018, the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection organized a regional workshop on Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) in collaboration with Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) in Rabat. The symposium was entitled ‘Use of the Climate Action Guide for Climate Empowerment’ and aimed to strengthen the role of civil society in efforts to raise awareness on climate change.
Moreover, in 2019, during the United Nations Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit, Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa launched the African Youth Climate Hub. This is an initiative for youth and by youth that aims to be a positive space for exchange and concrete support for young Africans to develop entrepreneurial skills and knowledge. As part of its activities, it created a Forum to identify and highlight green job and training opportunities for youth; and to celebrate and make visible youth stories, leadership, and innovation, including in the context of just transitions. The initiative is currently in its first edition and is preparing to launch its first e-learning module on climate literacy.
The National Charter for the Media, the Environment and Sustainable Development (2017) is a mobilization and multilateral cooperation project which aims to strengthen the impact of the national media in contributing to meeting Morocco’s significant climate change-related challenges. As one example, a TV advertisement on biodiversity protection is broadcasted regularly on national TV and radio. In May 2021, the national media paid particular attention to the participation of Morocco in the World Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Education for Sustainable Development, where Princess Lala Hasna spoke of “educating young people to respect the environment means believing in the promise of a new, more harmonious and sustainable world.”
The country’s 3rd National Communication emphasizes that:
In sufficient or lack of information, lack of communication, coordination and consultation between the actors involved in climate change management are among the factors that prevent the emergence of appropriate solutions. There can be no preservation of the environment without a national strategy for education and environment awareness. (2016, p.201)
Therefore, the National Climate Plan: Horizon 2030 (2019) calls for developing public awareness programs related to climate change management in all sectors such as agriculture, biodegradable waste, and renewable energy.
The General Direction of Meteorology under the Ministry of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water organizes an annual World Meteorological Day, which had the theme of “Ocean, Weather and Climate” in 2021.
ii. Climate change and public access to information
Public access to information is a legal requirement in Morocco. According to Article 27 of the Moroccan Constitution (2011), citizens have the right to access information retained by the public administration, elected institutions, and public service bodies. Morocco enacted the Framework Law 31.13 (2018) to define the scope of the public's right of access to information. Additionally, the Framework Law 99-12 on the National Charter of Environment and Sustainable Development (2014) reinforces this right in Article 3 by “granting every citizen the right to access reliable and relevant climate change and environment information” (p. 3).
The public access to information elements in the National Climate Plan: Horizon 2030 (2019) note the urgency of strengthening the country’s climate information system and the need to better resource and coordinate existing information tools. The Plan also discusses that improving these tools would facilitate better access to information across sectors, particularly in relation to meteorological warnings.
Morocco has a number of platforms for sharing climate change information. The Regional Information Systems on the Environment and Sustainable Development is a platform for collecting, analyzing, managing, and sharing environmental data, including climate change data. Developed by the Moroccan government and monitored by the Ministry of Environment, the Platform was in place in 3 of Morocco’s 12 regions and being deployed in 9 others at the time of this review. Similarly, the High Commission for Planning compiles and shares environmental statistics to facilitate access to and understanding of Morocco’s environmental situation, including climate change. Additionally, 4C Morocco’s website publishes data on mitigation and adaptation for the public. The data also support the operationalization of policies and strategies through the mobilization of national expertise on climate and environmental issues.
As reported in the country’s 3rd National Communication, Morocco recognizes the importance of access to information and argues that “it is crucial to communicate and raise awareness by making data and information on climate change and possible actions at their levels available to public and private actors, in a comprehensible manner” (2016, p.179).
iii. Climate change and public participation
Morocco has several laws governing public participation in climate change-related decision-making activities. Article 3 of the Framework Law 99-12 on the National Charter on for the Environment and Sustainable Development (2014) highlights the importance of public participation in environmental decision-making processes. The Article emphasizes civil society participation in national and international climate change processes. Similarly, Article 2 of the Law No.11-03 on the Protection and Conservation of the Environment (2003) states that “the protection and enhancement of the environment constitute a public utility and a collective responsibility requiring participation.”
Public participation is mainly achieved through the Climate Change Competence Center of Morocco (4C Morocco), a public interest group that serves as a hub for sharing expertise and international experience on climate action issues. 4C Morocco has contributed to developing a national Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification System to oversee Nationally Determined Contributions implementation in close coordination with other engaged initiatives in Morocco.
According to the country’s 3rd National Communication:
Morocco has an institutional mechanism for national climate governance conducive to consultation and action. It includes a set of entities responsible for different aspects of climate policy in particular: A National Commission on Climate Change (CNCC) bringing together representatives of the main public actors involved in the issue of climate change in Morocco, in addition to representatives of the private sector and civil society. (2016, p.79)
i. Country monitoring
The monitoring of climate change communication and education had not been assigned to any specific ministry or agency in Morocco at the time of this review. Instead, various government entities and international bodies collect data to support monitoring and reporting on climate change in the country.
The National Climate Plan: Horizon 2030 mentions the role of the National Environmental Observation (ONEM) and the Regional Observation of Environment and Sustainable Development (OREDD) in reinforcing the national and regional environment database. The Plan also calls for strengthening human capacities and techniques for 4C actors in terms of statistical and modeling tools to better achieve climate monitoring. The OREDD launched its 3rd report on the Environmental Status in Morocco in 2015. It is designed in such a way as to integrate new developments at national, regional, and international levels.
The High Commission for Planning (HCP) is the national authority in charge of statistics, including those related to the environment. The HCP produced compendiums of environmental statistics in 2002 and 2006. The compendiums report on climate change actions taking place in the country, including noting that Morocco hosting COP7 in 2001 was “as a sign of effective engagement in prioritizing environment and sustainable development” (2006, p.13).
The National Laboratory for the Environment and the National Environment Police have created a prevention and environmental monitoring system.
Morocco participated in the 2018 PISA Global Competence Study. Morocco scored lower than the OECD average in questions related to global issues, which included climate change.
The Sustainable Development Report 2021, which monitors progress in achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for all UN member states ranked Morocco 69/165, with an overall score of 70.5. Morocco’s performance on SDG13 (Climate Action) is “On Track” and the report indicates the country has achieved the SDG. The report further indicates that “Challenges Remain” for the country in achieving SDG4 (Quality Education), and that progress on this SDG has stagnated. However, the report does not specifically reference climate change education or education for sustainable development.
The General Direction of Meteorology under the Ministry of Equipment, Transport, Logistic and Water Studies tracks and reports on various parameters, such as observed changes and trends in temperature and precipitation, as well as a number of climate change indices. However, this review did not find any tracking information on components related to climate change communication or education.
In addition, the Ministry of Energy, Mines, and Environment has developed the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory System (NGI-GHIS), which plays a key role in monitoring climate change-related data in the country, but does not track climate change communication or education.
ii. MECCE Project Monitoring
The Monitoring and Evaluating Climate Communication and Education (MECCE) Project examined Morocco’s 2015 Strategic Vision for Reform (ESP) and its National Curriculum Frameworks (NCF) for references to ‘climate change,’ ‘sustainability,’ ‘biodiversity,’ and the ‘environment.’
Morocco’s National Curriculum Frameworks (NCF) are relatively dated documents, published between 2000 and 2005, and do not explicitly reference climate change. Instead, the NCF has a large focus on environmental protection and preservation (55 references), few references to sustainability (3 mentions), and no references to biodiversity.
The Strategic Vision for Reform (2015-2030), the country’s Education Sector Plan (ESP), does not mention climate change, nor does it reference the natural environment or biodiversity. Sustainable development is mentioned twice.
This section will be updated as the MECCE project develops.