On March 22, an online meeting with representatives from the Government of Morocco, the Delegation of the European Union and stakeholders from Morocco’s fish processing industry., launched a project that will focus on improving the resource-efficiency and waste valorization along the value chain of fish products in Morocco.
Following the European Union’s “blue growth” strategy, the second phase of the SwitchMed program includes a Blue Economy component that supports the adoption of sustainable business practices in marine-related economic activities, such as the fish processing industries. The overall objective of the Blue Economy component is to ensure that economic activities in marine regions do not negatively impact ecosystems and livelihoods while supporting and improving associated economic sectors for future operations.
“The blue economy has enormous potential to contribute to the green recovery. This desire for green recovery materializes in the green partnership on which the EU and Morocco are working to realize a common ambition in the fight against climate change,” said Jean-Christophe Filori, Head of Cooperation of the European Union in Morocco.
In partnership with the National Federation of Seafood Processing and Valorization Industries (FENIP), UNIDO will in 2021 conduct an in-depth study of the fish processing value chain related to key players in the industry.
Hassan Sentissi, President of FENIP, said: “It is imperative to protect natural resources and adopt sustainable production methods to reduce the carbon footprint of our activities.”
The Blue Economy project will analyze regulatory and market barriers and the potential for optimization to reduce the environmental impact of industrial sites. In addition, the project will study the potential of applying eco-innovative SMART technologies and industrial synergies in Morocco’s fish processing industry.
In a message sent by Mr. Abdelmalek Faraj, Director General of the National Institute for Fisheries Research affirmed that: “SwitchMed’s objectives are perfectly in line with the vision of the Moroccan blue economy designed around economic development in accordance with the preservation of the oceans and marine biodiversity.”
The SwitchMed program, funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), will until 2023 demonstrate the creation of new business opportunities and jobs while reducing the footprint environmental impact of existing economic activities in Morocco and seven associated countries.
Mohamed Benyahia, Secretary-General of the Department of the Environment at the Ministry of Energy, Mines and the Environment, said: “The transition to a green economy is a major issue in the Kingdom of Morocco’s strategy. The second phase of SwitchMed will thus support the country in this transition process towards more responsible consumption for our natural ecosystems.”
Hanan Hanzaz, UNIDO Representative in Morocco, recalled Morocco’s efforts in promoting circularity. Thus, “the Country Partnership Program (PCP) between UNIDO and the Kingdom of Morocco includes a” circular economy “component which aims to contribute in particular to the recovery of waste.”
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