|Marrakesh - November 12, 2016 : Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa opens Ocean Day at COP 22|
Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa delivered the keynote address for COP 22 Ocean Day on November 12, 2016 in Marrakech. After highlighting the oceans’ importance, now recognized by the "Because the Ocean" declaration at COP 21 in Paris, Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa launched a new call for greater protection of the ocean and wetland zones, for which it has been active for over 15 years.
Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa had already committed herself before the creation of the foundation she now presides over in an action to protect and clean the beaches. The Clean Beaches Program, which has completed its 15th year and extends to the entire Moroccan coast, with 89 beaches supported including 22 Blue Flag certified beaches, is now part of a larger action by the Foundation to protect the coast and wetlands. In 2008, this global action concerned the depollution of the Marchica lagoon, and in 2011, the protection of the Dakhla lagoon via the Mediterranean International Biosphere Reserve (RBIM), which is divided between Spain and Morocco.
In all these programs, the Foundation leads actions for awareness, training, and the education of all. They start with children, a priority target group, with the Eco-Schools and Young Reporters for the Environment programs, whose presence in coastal towns is particularly important. The Week of the Coast, organized each year by the Foundation, is aimed at both children and adults to raise awareness. It mobilizes and trains the elected officials and managers of the coastal communes on better beach management and their hinterland.
To catalyze emulation and a ripple effect, every two years the Foundation organizes the Lalla Hasnaa Sustainable Coast Awards, which rewards the best actions carried out for the protection, preservation or knowledge of the coast in the broad sense.
This constant commitment has already earned HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa international recognition. In 2007, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) appointed Her as Ambassador for the Coast. In 2010, her Foundation organized the Coastal Conference in Tangier, with the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa’s strong commitment, expertise accumulated by her Foundation, and partnerships with over a dozen leading international organizations, make her a natural leader in the preservation of wetlands. She is solicited in Morocco and abroad to share her Foundation’s experience to transmit it to organizations from other countries around the Mediterranean and Africa.