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19 March 2010

Morocco pleased with selecting Rabat to celebrate Earth Day, Princess Lalla Hasnaa says Washington March 19th, 2010

Morocco is "pleased" with selecting the city of Rabat by the Association of "Earth Day Network," as the site of one of the major Earth Day celebrations marking Earth Day's 40th anniversary, said Thursday in Washington Princess Lalla Hasnaa at a dinner hosted by HM King Mohammed VI on the occasion of the presentation ceremony of this global event.



"The imperial city of Rabat has been the capital of the Kingdom for almost a century. A city steeped in history, it is also a prestigious cultural center, with countless monuments and historical features," Princess Lalla Hasnaa said.    As well as priding itself on its long history and resolutely looking to the future, "Rabat is known for its modernity, growing international stature and a solid, ever increasing desire to live up to its reputation as a green city," Lalla Hasnaa underlined, adding that environmental protection and sustainable development top the list of the priorities inspiring the action of city officials, local authorities and elected institutions.    The selection of the city of Rabat "attests, in my opinion, to the significant progress Morocco has made in the area of environmental protection and to its irreversible choice to promote sustainable development," She said, recalling that the North African country has adhered to the objectives and principles of sustainable development since the Earth Summit held in Rio in 1992.    Princess Lalla Hasnaa added that "the Kingdom’s special interest in this area is best reflected by the participation of HM King Mohammed VI, then Crown Prince, in the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, in the Rio+5 Forum in New York in 1997 and, finally, as Head of State, in the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002."    Reflecting its strong desire to be in tune with international legislation on environmental issues, the Kingdom ratified in 1995 the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and, in 1996, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, the Princess noted.   She added that Morocco "spared no effort to ensure the successful organization of the Seventh Session of the Conference of the Parties on Climate Change, which was held in Marrakech in 2001 and which was credited with facilitating the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol, ratified by my country in 2002."     Morocco, Lalla Hasnaa went on to say, has embarked on an ambitious economic and social development policy, is very much aware that the pursuit of sustained economic growth must go hand in hand with a determined environmental conservation policy, and that national endeavors must be consistent with a sustainable development approach, adding that “significant progress has been made in terms of institutional and legal development in the area of environmental protection.    She noted that Morocco now has national programs of action for the mitigation of - and adjustment to – climate change in such key sectors as water resources, agriculture, industry, construction and energy, highlighting Morocco’s policy concerning the promotion of renewable energies.    The princess said that “Morocco will adopt a national charter on the environment and sustainable development designed to safeguard landscapes as well as natural resources and reserves, as part of a sustainable development process.”    The charter, she said, is premised on a global vision of the environment based on respect for biodiversity and the progress of human societies and reflects the will of all Moroccans - individuals as well as community groups – to seek to preserve the environment and achieve sustainable development.    "The environment and sustainable development charter will highlight Morocco's pioneering action in environmental conservation and sustainable development in Africa and the Arab world," Princess Lalla Hasnaa concluded.


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