Morocco cleans up its act for COP 22

Morocco cleans up its act for COP 22
By Robert Hackwill
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The COP 22 climate conference will soon begin in Casablanca, Morocco, and ahead of the event the country is mobilising to raise awareness of rubbish and pollution problems, and engaging the people the


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Morocco considers that action in favour of the environment coming from civil society is of the utmost importance.

In Casablanca several initiatives inspired by young people have led to the setting up of associations that are working to protect the environment and get the message across to the people that clean and green go together.

One of them, Bahri, is trying to involve Moroccans in environmental causes to keep the cities and coasts clean. Since its inception in 2010 Bahri has organized more than 27 mass cleaning operations in different cities. The latest attracted more than 5000 volunteers.

During the Caravan of COP22, we clean, we plant, we paint, we build while promoting volunteering. Thanks to all the volunteers in tangier.

— Saadabidofficiel (@Saaido) October 30, 2016

Saad Abid, the founder of the association, is now working on a project to solve the pollution issues and he is collaborating with waste collectors in Casablanca.

“Today as a young Moroccan I feel the responsibility I have for the future of my country. I started this project because I was fed up growing up in a polluted town, and I really want my children, when they grow up, to be able to play in clean places, to be able to swim on clean beaches and not find rubbish everywhere. To tackle Casablanca’s waste problems we worked with the private rubbish collectors because with them we can reduce the volume of trash,” he says.

Mustapha El Hamri works with Bahri to help people recycle for themselves, so every day he collects plastic bottles and cardboard from companies and houses to take to the recycling factory.

“We want to keep this country clean, we don’t want to see garbage in the street. I hope that people participate in the recycling process and the separation of garbage. This process is good for everybody,” he says.

Zero Zbel, created by Mamoun Gallab and his friends, aims to raise awareness of the need to take responsibility for the environment among Morocco’s young people.

#COP22 5 climate finance topics to watch at COP22 in Marrakech

— Cop 22 Marrakech (@Cop22_Forum) October 26, 2016

Through social media and VOD sites they keep spreading the word about the importance of reducing waste and how individuals can help the environment. They explain the challenge of climate change in an appealing way.

“Today Morocco is facing a lot of environmental challenges and for us a key element is changing the mindset of the people. The idea is to build content that is accessible to everyone and to give a voice to the youth,” says Mamoun.

In COP 22 young peoples’ voices will be strongly present. As officials in Rabat told euronews, this event is creating opportunities to involve them and to share their vision about ecological solutions.

“During the entire COP associations and territorial collectives will be able to submit their ideas, their projects, and talk about what they do. They’ll be able to negotiate with governments and work with them, and try to influence the decisions made at COP 22.

In a country like Morocco or in Africa for example, where more than half the population is under 25, it is essential to get young people involved.
If they are not, planet Earth will become increasingly uninhabitable,” says the COP 22’s Head of Civil Society Activities Driss el-Yazami.

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