Morocco offers real development opportunities, mainly in the maritime domain; however, opportunities have been anarchically developed showing risks threatening the marine ecosystem and resources, in addition to the impact of littoral activities (pleasure, extraction of marine enriching agents, sand quarries, etc.).
A major part of the country’s economic development is located in coastal areas hosting industrial activities, mainly subject to the discharge of unprocessed wastewater as a result of growing urbanization.
Most conventional maritime activities are based on explicit and well defined sectoral strategies, implemented by specialized sectoral agencies, supported by comprehensive regulatory systems, and including thorough environment assessment studies at the level of projects, plans and programs.
The marine and coastal environment is closely watched in some areas and in some specific sectors. Sector based and integrated instruments and approaches are developed at the level of policies as well as at the operational level (integrated management of coastal areas, protected marine areas).
Maritime challenges are not yet fully taken into consideration in the country’s development plan and in corresponding planning instruments (national and regional territory development plans) although a large number of sector-based strategies have already been designed.
With regard to the importance of maritime challenges, Morocco should develop an integrated maritime policy and a maritime governance policy dedicated to the development of this integrated maritime policy, enabling the contribution of various maritime stakeholders in decisions and in the implementation of maritime strategies.
This approach requires the set up of databases related to various aspects (social, economic, environmental, etc.) and the constitution of cross sectional coordination structures at the design and operational levels.