Marrakech - HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa, chairwoman of the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection, chaired on Saturday in Marrakech the opening ceremony of the Oceans Action Day at the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-22).
On the occasion of this COP, Morocco will confirm its support for the initiatives relating to the oceans which have been already launched and will launch a new initiative called ‘the Blue Belt’, aimed at increasing the resilience of coastal populations as well as promoting sustainable fishing activities, HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa, Ambassador of the Coast, said in a speech during the opening ceremony, which was attended by several personalities including HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.
"On the occasion of the COP22, the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection will join the Blue Belt," HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa announced.
"Building on its experience in the sustainable development of three Moroccan wetlands located on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coasts, the Foundation will take part in the creation of marine protected areas," HRH the Princess added.
The day dedicated to the oceans at the COP22 "marks a historic turning point" as the oceans are part of the Global Climate Action Agenda, which reinforces Goal 14 of Sustainable Development, HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa pointed out.
Morocco has always been sensitive to the importance of the oceans on various levels, HRH the Princess said, noting that HM King Mohammed VI has made environmental protection one of the pillars of public policies, development strategies and the regional and international commitments of the Kingdom.
HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa highlighted the role played by the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection in raising awareness of the importance of preserving the oceans, adding that the foundation outlined since its inception 15 years ago five priorities, including the protection of coastal areas.
HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa cited in this context actions implemented by the foundation in this area, including educational programs for children and the youth, the organization of a coast week and the Lalla Hasnaa Sustainable Coast Awards, which aim at promoting original and innovative projects for the coast.
The opening ceremony of the Oceans Action Day was attended by minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Aziz Akhannouch, French Minister of the Environment, Energy and the Sea, President of the COP 21, Ségolène Royal, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, and FAO Deputy Director-General for Natural Resources Maria Helena Semedo.
The Oceans Action Event at COP 22, part of the Global Climate Action Agenda, features high-level political leaders from around the world, international agencies, NGOs, experts, and private sector representatives to showcase how the world is tackling climate change impacts on oceans, seas, and coastal and island populations.