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Oct 3, 2017

Belize Connects with Morocco on Marine and Coastal Development

The Kingdom of Morocco is all the way in Africa, but that huge country with a population of thirty-two million plus, shares commonalities with Belize. This week, representatives from Morocco are in Belize to collaborate on issues involving the marine environment. A first of its kind study tour between the two countries is being coordinated through the World Bank to carry out a conservation and climate adaptation project. News Five’s Duane Moody has the following report.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The Belize Marine Conservation and Climate Adaptation Project is an initiative that focuses on marine and coastal development and protection for the environment. Funded by the World Bank, the project looks at the sustainable use of coastal resources. Belize has partnered up with the Kingdom of Morocco for a study tour, an exchange of knowledge and best practices to address the challenges of the coastal zone facing both countries.

 

Yvonne Hyde

Yvonne Hyde, C.E.O., Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum

“Both of us have similar objectives for both sides to understand how you can best maximize while protecting your coastal and marine reserves. For us, in a situation and maybe in the case of both countries, in situations where financial resources may be limited; for us, certainly human resources are limited. So how do we best utilize what we have to be able to protect the environment along the coast and in the marine areas. So maybe that’s one of the specific objectives. And the other one is for us to learn about their country, about the Kingdom of Morocco and for them to learn about Belize. They are worlds apart, very different countries and it is that sort of thing. So it’s exchange of knowledge, experiences lessons.”

 

Fouad Zyadi

Fouad Zyadi, Director of Environmental Assessment and Legal Affairs, Kingdom of Morocco

“Indeed Morocco considers your integrated coastal management as a valid and true approach to the sustainable development of the coast. Operationally, Morocco has similar initiatives aiming to the development of the coast as the main goal dealing with the coastal area risks and the effects of climate change on the coast. This study tour is an exceptional opportunity for us to share with you the Moroccan experience with Belize officials of our government department workings on this important topic.”

 

According to Hyde, it is first of its kind initiative in the region and the design, integrated coastal zone management, is new because it doesn’t only apply to the sea, but covers several miles on land.  It is a multiagency approach to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Sylvia Michele Diez is the Project Leader for the Marine Conservation and Climate Adaptation Project.

 

Sylvia Michele Diez

Sylvia Michele Diez, Environment Specialist, World Bank Group

“The inspiration came from these two countries that have been managing the marine resources in a sustainable way and they also have similar challenges. And some of the challenges are related to pollution in the marine environment related to coastal development, over-fishing and climate change. These challenges are similar in both countries and we believe that exchanging knowledge and experience between them, they can find solutions on how to address these challenges in their own country.”

 

The study tour will also feature trips to Placencia, Laughing Bird Caye and other areas where subprojects such as the seaweed project are ongoing. Duane Moody for News Five.

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