ADB: 84 million euros for the development of forest areas in Morocco

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The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has approved financing of 84 million euros (M€) as part of the project to support the inclusive and sustainable development of forest areas in Morocco.

This project aims to contribute to strengthening the resilience of the Moroccan economy in the face of climate change and to improve the water cycle, in particular, indicates a press release from the ADB published on the occasion of its 2024 Annual Meetings, including the official opening ceremony took place on Wednesday in Nairobi.

Targeting nearly 6.5 million people living in rural areas in the regions of Rabat-Salé-Kenitra, Marrakech-Safi, Tangier-Tétouan-Al Hoceima and Souss-Massa in the 4 watersheds and 4 national parks, the project will support the emergence of a rural middle class through sustainable management of natural resources, the inclusive promotion of forestry value chains and the development of forestry and aquaculture entrepreneurship, specifies the same source.

The operation will benefit cooperatives, inter-professional organizations and small and medium-sized businesses operating in the forestry and aquaculture sectors in the target regions.

According to the ADB, the project will contribute to the realization of the ambitions of the “Forests of Morocco 2020-2030” strategy through a series of actions, including the integrated development of four national parks, the promotion of biodiversity by reintroducing species of extinct and/or threatened fauna, in addition to the restoration of lands affected by erosion through their biological treatment.

It also involves promoting the entrepreneurship of young people and women in the aquaculture and forestry sectors by facilitating their access to financing, providing them with support and proximity services and setting up three incubators for young and women agricultural entrepreneurs.

In addition, these actions relate to the development of ecotourism by developing dedicated areas in four national parks, support for four sectors “cork”, “eucalyptus”, “aromatic and medicinal plants” and “continental aquaculture”, with the definition of development plans and the establishment of processing zones which reinforce the added value of the sectors.

Likewise, the said project provides for the establishment of a center of excellence and forestry innovation, the establishment of a network of exchange and good practices between North Africa, Central Africa and southern Africa, as well as strengthening the management and coordination capacities of forestry sector stakeholders.

The 2024 AfDB Annual Meetings are being held under the theme “Africa’s Transformation, the African Development Bank Group and Reform of the Global Financial Architecture”.

More than 3,000 delegates, including African heads of state, ministers, central bank governors, development partners, private sector representatives and other stakeholders are taking part in the assemblies, which include the 59th Annual Meeting of the AfDB and the 50th Assembly of the African Development Fund (ADF).

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