GCA Announces Participation in Morocco’s Inclusive and Sustainable Development Support Programme for Forest Areas

R otterdam, the Netherlands, 19 June 2024 – The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) announced today its active involvement in the Inclusive and Sustainable Development Support Programme for Forest Areas (PADIDZOF) in Morocco. This significant project, led by the African Development Bank (AfDB), aims to enhance the climate resilience of Morocco’s forest areas while promoting sustainable development and creating job opportunities for youth and women.

The forestry sector in Morocco is critical to the country’s economy making up 2% of its GDP and contributing 4% of the world’s cork supply. Morocco’s forests are, however, increasingly exposed to climate change-induced hazards like droughts, water erosion, more frequent and severe wildfires exacerbated by increased dryness from droughts, the emergence of new pests that decimate forest biodiversity, and growing desertification. For instance, in 2023 alone, Morocco lost about 7,600 hectares of forests to wildfires.

The PADIDZOF project, with an overall investment of €171 million from various partners, aims to:

  • Restore 133,000 hectares of vegetation cover by 2030
  • Create 27,500 jobs, with a focus on youth and women
  • Increase the annual economic value generated by the forestry and ecotourism sectors to between 2 and 5 billion dirhams

Through targeted interventions under the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP), the world’s largest adaptation program initiated by GCA and the AfDB, GCA will contribute to achieving these goals by enhancing the resilience of Morocco’s forestry sector to climate change impacts such as droughts, wildfires, and desertification by carrying out specific activities.

GCA’s Involvement in PADIDZOF
GCA will contribute to several critical components of the PADIDZOF project, focusing on climate risk, youth employment, and capacity building:
1. Climate Risk Assessment:

  • Conduct  thorough assessments of climate risks and vulnerabilities in Morocco’s forestry sector across the selected project locations.
  • Develop action plans to implement adaptation solutions, including nature-based solutions and digital technologies to enhance forest management and resilience.

2. Youth Jobs and Entrepreneurship:

  • Perform a comprehensive labor market assessment to identify opportunities for adaptation jobs within the forestry and agroforestry sectors.
  • Propose strategies for creating adaptation jobs, particularly focusing on engaging youth and women in sustainable forest management practices.

3. Training and Capacity Development:

  • Design and implement a training strategy to build the capabilities of key stakeholders, including government officials, local authorities, and start-ups.
  • Develop manuals and curricula to support the adoption of climate-smart practices and enhance the adaptive capacity of local communities.

Through these targeted interventions, GCA will play a pivotal role in achieving the project goals, particularly by enhancing the resilience of Morocco’s forestry sector to climate change impacts such as droughts, wildfires, and desertification.

Professor Patrick V. Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation, expressed his commitment to GCA’s role in this transformative initiative, stating, “Our collaboration with the AfDB on the PADIDZOF project underscores GCA’s commitment to fostering climate resilience in vulnerable regions. By leveraging our expertise in climate risk assessment and capacity building, we aim to support Morocco in safeguarding its forest ecosystems and enhancing the livelihoods of local communities.”

Notes to Editors

About the Global Center on Adaptation
The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) is an international organization that promotes adaptation to the impacts of climate change. It works to climate-proof development by instigating policy reforms and influencing investments made by international financial institutions and the private sector. The goal is to bring climate adaptation to the forefront of the global fight against climate change and ensure that it remains prominent. Founded in 2018, GCA embodies innovation in its approach to climate adaptation as well as in its physical presence. It operates from the largest floating office in the world, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. GCA has a worldwide network of regional offices in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; Dhaka, Bangladesh; and Beijing, China. The Center will open a new office in Nairobi, Kenya in 2025.

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