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Experts meet in Rabat to discuss recommendations to Morocco in the first Environmental Performance Review undertaken by UNECE outside the region

Published: 11 September 2013

On 11 and 12 September 2013 the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Expert Group on Environmental Performance Reviews will meet in Rabat to examine the draft Environmental Performance Review (EPR) of Morocco, the first EPR to be undertaken by UNECE outside of the region.

The meeting, which is being organized in cooperation with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), is expected to agree on a set of recommendations to Morocco that will help the country to improve its environmental management, integrate environmental policies into sector-specific economic policies, promote accountability to other countries and the public and strengthen cooperation with the international community. The recommendations will be then submitted to the UNECE Committee on Environmental Policy in October for adoption.

The event will be opened by Mr. Mohamed Nbou, Director of the State Secretariat of Water and Environment of the Ministry of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment of Morocco and will gather together representatives from numerous Governmental institutions, local governments, non-governmental organizations and business associations. Other national and international stakeholders will also participate, including the European Commission, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the German Agency for International Cooperation, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the World Bank. Northern African countries interested in undergoing an EPR in the future are will also be represented, including Algeria and Libya. A representative of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia will also attend the meeting.

The review report covers 13 areas of particular importance to Morocco, including policymaking, planning and implementation, the financing of environmental policies and projects, and the integration of environmental concerns into economic sectors, in particular agriculture, energy and industry. Other areas under review include air pollution, water management, waste management, biodiversity and protected areas. Health issues are also covered.

The efficiency and effectiveness of the methodology deployed by the UNECE EPR programme have attracted the attention of other bodies inside and outside the region, leading to requests for a transfer of know-how from UNECE to other United Nations regional commissions. At the request of Morocco, in 2012 UNECE launched the EPR of Morocco in cooperation with ECA, of which Morocco is a member State.

For more information on the Review Programme, please visit: http://www.ECE.org/env/epr

or contact info.epr@ECE.org.

Note to editors

In 1993, at the Second “Environment for Europe” Ministerial Conference, ministers requested UNECE to undertake EPRs in countries not members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). By 2004, the first cycle of reviews was completed. UNECE is now finalizing the second round of reviews, taking stock of the progress made since the first review, and putting particular emphasis on implementation, integration, financing and the socioeconomic interface with the environment. At the seventh “Environment for Europe” Ministerial Conference in Astana in September 2011, ministers invited ECE to “conduct its third cycle of EPRs, which may include environmental governance and financing in a green economy context, countries’ cooperation with the international community and environmental mainstreaming in priority sectors”.

The UNECE EPR Programme has raised significant interest in other regions. As a response, the Committee on Environmental Policy agreed to carry out EPRs beyond the region. An EPR for a non-UNECE country in a given region should be a pilot project in cooperation between UNECE and the respective United Nations Regional Commission. The goal is to allow a transfer of the EPR methodology and know-how from UNECE to other Regional Commissions.

An EPR is an assessment of the progress a country has made in reconciling its environmental and economic targets and in meeting its international environmental commitments. The EPR is undertaken at the request of a country. Peer review of the report and of its recommendations is carried out by the UNECE Committee on Environmental Policy. The main objectives of the EPR Programme are:

•           To assist countries to improve their management of the environment and associated environmental performance by making concrete recommendations for better policy design and implementation;

•           To promote the exchange of information among countries about policies and experiences;

•           To help integrate environmental policies into sector-specific economic policies, such as for agriculture, energy, transport and health;

•           To promote greater accountability to other countries and to the public;

•           To strengthen cooperation with the international community.

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

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