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World Environment Day: Connecting people to nature


Every year the World Environmental Day is celebrated on June the 5th. The theme for 2017 will be: “Connecting People to Nature”. It is an invitation to discover nature, appreciate its beauty and importance and contribute to its preservation. It is a worldwide call to adopt positive environmental measures.

Canada is the host country for this year, where the official celebrations will take place. On this occasion, some famous monuments in different countries, including Morocco, will be illuminated in green color to raise awareness among citizens on the necessity to protect the environment. In Morocco, the Parliament will be dressed in green light at nightfall on June the 5th, 2017.

Morocco, host of the COP22, will reiterate its commitment for the protection of the environment in its diversity on the World Environmental Day. This commitment is reflected in the framework law No. 99-12 on the National charter for environment and sustainable development adopted by Morocco in 2012.

The purpose of the framework law is to:

  • Strengthen the protection and preservation of natural resources, ecosystems, biodiversity and cultural heritage and to fight against all forms of pollutions and nuisance.
  • Establish sustainable development as an approach within sectorial public policies and adopt a national strategy for sustainable development.
  • Harmonize the national legal framework with international standards and conventions relating to environmental and sustainable development.
  • Reinforce measures of climate change mitigation and adaptation and fight against desertification.
  • Define the commitments of the State, local government, public institutions and State owned-enterprises, private companies, NGOs and citizens on the protection of the environment and sustainable development.

Environment as priority for the CNDH

Protection of the environment is one of priorities of the National Human Rights Council (CNDH) and its regional commissions (CRDHs). In this regard, the CNDH conducted several actions to promote the environmental rights and organized conferences aiming to raise awareness on environment and the consequences of climate change on society, for example the international seminar on “effectiveness of environmental rights” on 25 and 26 November 2012 in Dakhla, Morocco. This international seminar aimed to identify and address the concept of “environmental rights” and its relationship to other economic, cultural and social rights. It also highlighted the importance of this right as a factor of citizenship.

Another event on “effectiveness and the implementation of the right to water” was held in Casablanca, Morocco on April 3rd, 2014. This event emphasized that the CNDH and its CRDHs prioritize reflections on the new rights in order to contribute to the effectiveness and implementation of Morocco’s commitments in this context.

CNDH and COP22

Mr. Driss El Yazami, CNDH president, is currently chairing the civil society section of COP22 Steering Committee.

Before COP22, held from 7 to 18 November 2016 in Marrakech, the CRDHs organized several events called “PreCop” to raise awareness on environmental and climate issues.

The CNDH, the Ministry of Culture and the Moroccan Deposit and Management Fund (CDG), organized an exhibition entitled “A photo for my planet”, launched on 7 November 2016. It was organized simultaneously in three spaces: the Green zone in Bab Ighli, Marakech, as a part of the events planned in conjunction with the COP22, Espace Expressions CDG in Rabat, and the Cultural Center of Dakhla. The displayed photos were selected at the end of a competition organized for professional and non-professional photographers by three partners mentioned above on the environment issue. The photographs proposed by the candidates illustrated collective or individual citizen situation or action to preserve the environment and to fight against climate change.

In order to raise the voice of children and young people at COP22, the CNDH and UNICEF organized the “Climate Youth Awards”, an artistic event that valued the commitment of young people for the protection of children’s rights against climate change challenges.

The Youth Movement Award was granted to the best “short film” on climate change and its impacts on children’s rights. The 15 movies were produced by young people as a part of the Youth Movement for children’s rights program supported by the CNDH and UNICEF.

Finally, the CNDH organized several workshops and meetings as a part of the COP22, including:

  • a special event on “What role can NHRIs play in monitoring the implementation of sustainable development goals and commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change?”,
  • a workshop on “The role of African research on climate change and human mobility”,
  • a workshop on “Climate change and migration: issues, challenges and policies”,
  • an international seminar on “Constitutions, environment and environmental rights: comparative analysis of content, implications and perspectives”.

Visit the website of the World Environmental Day