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Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima Region: Symposium on the Right to Environment and Development

The Regional Human Rights Commission (CRDH) of the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima Region and the Centre des Espaces du Nord pour le Développement et le Partenariat (CENDEP), in M’diq, Morocco, organized a symposium on the “Right to Environment and Development between the Evolving Legislative Framework and the Growing Environmental Risks” on Friday 7 July 2023, in M’diq, Morocco.

In her opening statement at this event, Mrs. Soulma Taoud, CRDH President, stressed that this meeting is part of the CRDH mandate related to promoting human rights culture. It is organized in light of the CRDH’s growing interest in sustainable development and the environment and in line with the Moroccan Constitution and its international commitments in this field.

This meeting aims to raise awareness on the repercussions of climate change on several rights, including the right to health, the right to life and the right to a decent life, she added.

CRDH President also noted that the rushing climate change is a significant threat to human rights, as evidenced by the water stress in Morocco this year. Within the same context, she highlighted that environmental threats and emergencies require serious coordination locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

Participants in this meeting stressed the need to make the environmental dimension a key element in the development approach and in following up on the effectiveness of human rights in public policies. Thus, they called for decreasing the gap between the legislative framework and practice, issuing decrees of laws and completing the development of the Environment Code.

CENDEP representatives, CRDH members, Director of the Fondation Maison Méditerranéenne du Climat (FMMC) in Tangier, Morocco, Head of the Evaluation and Planning Department at the Agence du Bassin Hydraulique du Loukkos, representative of the National Agency for Water and Forests (ANEF), Head of the Observatoire pour la Protection de l'Environnement et des Monuments Historiques de Tanger, several institutional actors, civil societies, researchers took part in this event.

To be noted, the National Human Rights Council (CNDH) has prioritized the right to the environment and sustainable development as key focus areas in recent years. In its annual report 2022, entitled "Redefining Priorities to Enhance the Effectiveness of Human Rights," the CNDH noted the increased number of complaints related to violations of the right to a healthy and sustainable environment. Accordingly, the report put forward a set of recommendations on climate change, the right to a healthy environment and the right to water.