Under HM the King’s Leadership, Kingdom’s Commitment Lies at Intersection of Migration, Environment and Climate Change – FM –

Under the leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, the Kingdom’s commitment is at the intersection of migration, environment and climate change, through an integrated action for human and sustainable development, said Tuesday, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad, Nasser Bourita. Bourita, who participated in the 1st session of the International Dialogue on Migration (IDM) of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), held by videoconference under the theme “Accelerating Integrated Action for Sustainable Development: Migration, Environment and Climate Change”, stressed that the commitment of Morocco in the fight against climate change is, thus, the counterpart of its commitment on the issue of migration. In this sense, he highlighted the national migration policy, launched by HM King Mohammed VI and based on solidarity and human values, the African Agenda on Migration, presented by the Sovereign in 2018, as the Leader of Africa on the issue of migration, a flagship vision that gave birth to the African Migration Observatory, inaugurated in Rabat in December 2020, as well as the International Conference of Marrakech in 2018, which adopted the Global Pact. Noting that the discourse on migration can no longer be limited to economic migrants and refugees, Bourita said that “there is another category, growing, of migrants on which all our attention must focus: climate migrants”. “Natural disasters and global warming are, in fact, the main trigger for new internal displacements in the world,” he insisted, adding that “if the category of climatic migrants attracts our attention, it is not only because of its number, which could reach 200 to 250 million by 2050, but also because it is distinguished by its complexity”.  “It is difficult to quantify accurately, as it is often based on predictions. It is difficult to qualify conceptually, because it blurs the boundaries between forced and voluntary migration – of which it is on the edge. It is the result of multiple factors that intertwine climate change with other economic, social and political factors,” he added, noting that most of it is internal displacement or regional migration, as international migration is often inaccessible for the populations most vulnerable to climate change. Referring to the situation in the African continent, Bourita said that Africa, particularly impacted by climate change, “is disproportionately affected by the phenomenon of climate and environmental migration,” citing as an example the Sahel region, which remains one of the regions of the world most severely affected by climate change and is now the epicenter of one of the fastest growing displacement crises in the world, with nearly 1.6 million internally displaced persons and 365,000 refugees who have fled violence, including more than 640,000 in 2020. “The link between climate change and peace and security in Africa is well established. Rising temperatures have increased the risk of conflict by 11% in sub-Saharan Africa since 1980,” he said, estimating that if this trend continues, this percentage could reach 54% by 2030, and cost the lives of 394,000 people, particularly due to increasing water stress and the decrease in agricultural land. In this sense, he cited the Small Island Developing States that are facing existential challenges due to climate change. “We have not only the responsibility to act, but also the duty to do so quickly to curb displacement related to climate change and mitigate the causes of natural disasters and environmental degradation,” insisted Bourita, adding that Morocco’s conviction is that urgent action by the international community should be based on 3 complementary axes, namely the protection of displaced persons as well as the facilitation of preventive displacement to move away from danger and prevent massive and sudden displacement. It is also about the fight against climate change, strengthening adaptation and resilience policies, especially through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement, he said. The minister noted that these 3 axes are the extension of the doctrine that Morocco has imbibed, to counter the adverse effects of climate change. He said that in terms of adaptation and mitigation of climate change, Morocco is a world leader, with an ambitious NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42% by 2030, as well as the Kingdom has significantly increased the share of renewable energy over the past ten years and is on the way to achieve the goal of 52% of renewable energy capacity in 2030. At the regional level, Morocco, under the leadership of HM King Mohammed VI, has developed a strong climate solidarity with African countries, the minister recalled, referring in particular to the organization of the 1st African Summit of Action for a continental co-emergence, the initiative “AAA” -Adaptation of African Agriculture, the “3S” initiative -Sustainability, Stability and Security- launched jointly by Morocco and Senegal, which proposes innovative solutions through alternatives to forced migration, and the Coalition on Access to Sustainable Energy as well as the African Youth Climate Hub platform. Bourita also stressed that Morocco, which is pleased to be part of the Champion countries of the implementation of the Marrakech Pact, proposes to hold, during this year, a ministerial meeting of the Champion countries which, crowned by a Joint Declaration, would aim to promote this Pact and raise awareness for the full and effective implementation of its objectives. He also stated that the protection of the environment, the fight against climate change and the management of migration have the mutuality that they share the same common denominators, noting that these structural issues all require an awareness of collective challenges, political will and a sincere commitment of all actors and management based on the fundamental principles of shared responsibility and mutual respect. In this regard, the minister stressed that the management of borders cannot be outsourced, believing that transit countries have neither the responsibility to be gendarmes nor the vocation to be border guards. Similarly, he added, the responsibility in migration cannot be transferred, noting that “transferring responsibility is not only to discard it but also to empty the very logic of partnership. A partner is an equal partner, he is neither a scapegoat nor an adversary”. “Migrants should not be the object of instrumentalization”, he underlined, explaining that “emotional blackmail and binary conceptions do a disservice to migrants”.