Adapting to climate change is needed now more than ever, experts say


The question of the adaptation of territories to climate change has become significant. Droughts, desertification, floods… Climate change is underway and many territories are already suffering the consequences. Each of them is therefore called upon to build their resilience, this is the conclusion of the round table organized by the citizens’ initiative OTED.

According to the speakers, action is needed on two fronts. It is therefore important to mitigate and adapt to climate change. In the Souss-Massa region, for example, a territorial plan to combat global warming, commonly called PTRC, has been put in place.

This plan aims to mitigate greenhouse gases and adapt to climate change, in particular by determining the means to be implemented locally to provide solutions for adapting the territory to the consequences of climate change, underlines Brahim Hafidi, Director General of the National Agency for the Development of Oasis and Argan Zones (ANDZOA).

During his speech, Brahim Hafidi also made a point of stressing that the Souss-Mass region is very affected by climate change and is experiencing very accentuated water stress. It is within this framework that the PTRC was launched in 2016 in order to control the consequences of climate change.

It was thus necessary to identify the technical specificities of the mitigation and adaptation mechanisms and to analyze in depth the national public policies relating thereto. A structured process was then able to be triggered thanks to the thematic workshops, towards an integrated territorial planning to fight against global warming.

For the Director General of the National Agency for the Development of Oasis and Argan Zones, each territory is now called upon to establish a diagnosis of vulnerability in order to identify the risks linked to climate change and to identify changes to operate.

For his part, Ahmed Baroudi, Managing Director of the Energy Investment Company (SIE), whose mission is to contribute to the achievement of national energy efficiency objectives through the joint and complementary mobilization of the public and private sectors , indicated that the SIE has implemented several energy efficiency projects for the sectors of public buildings, public lighting, mobility and industry.

Among these projects: the program of green mosques, which has made it possible to restructure the energy consumption of mosques and their buildings. This has reduced their energy bill by up to 64% on average. As for the renovation of the public lighting parks in Marrakech, it has made it possible to reduce their energy consumption by 68%.

As for Quentin Ballin, project team leader, agriculture, rural development and biodiversity division at the French Development Agency (AFD), he insisted on the importance of climate change adaptation projects, giving the example of project for the development of irrigation and adaptation of irrigated agriculture to climate change downstream of the Kaddoussa dam.

This project aims to secure, develop and make agricultural activities more resilient to climate change on a perimeter of 5,000 ha downstream of the dam, made up of oases and extensions outside the oases. It intends to preserve the oases by replenishing the main seguias and securing irrigated agriculture, which has developed from groundwater, by partially replacing the latter with surface water.

This project has, according to him, an important territorial dimension given that it offers support activities targeting local farmers, by offering them more resilient agricultural practices, in particular the diversification of crops, the development of agroecological practices and water saving measures, among others.

For his part, Faissal Sehbaoui, Managing Director of AgriEdge, a platform of precision agriculture services and a digital marketplace for agricultural products, pointed out that new technologies combining digital and artificial intelligence deserve special attention for better manage water resources.

Incentive policies for the use of digital irrigation management solutions are important today, he insisted, pointing out that advanced technologies can improve yield and reduce operational costs for stakeholders in the agricultural sector.

Note that OTED is a citizens’ initiative created in 2016 and supported by volunteers. Its objective is to promote multi-stakeholder partnerships and participate in changes in approaches to inclusive and sustainable development. And this, by favoring collective intelligence, co-construction and alliance strategies, essential levers allowing territorial actors to collectively design and implement innovative responses adapted to the challenges of the territories. This participation materializes in particular through the creation of territorial innovation laboratories, third places of innovation for the creation of ecosystems that generate sustainable shared value.

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Adapting to climate change is needed now more than ever, experts say

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