Territorial and human planning in Morocco passes by technical ministries (sectorial planning), by local planning (Local Development Plan) and by specific funds, such as those for the fight against poverty and vulnerability and social solidarity. The tools of international and bilateral aid, especially designed for various administrative ranks of Morocco (central, regional and provincial), also affect the different planning levels.
Local planning in Morocco, in reality, began in the early 2000’s. The PCD process is approved at a high level (Minsitry of the Interior) and passes upwardly from the Municipalities, through the deconcentrated and decentralized administrative line (circles, provinces, regions and the central level with the Directorate General of Local Authorities). Since 2007, approximately 900 PCD's are under development, handled by several operating agencies, with the principal ones being the Social Development Agency, the Association Targa, the ART GOLD program by UNDP, UNICEF and USAID. The broad participatory process takes several months for each community and includes an overview study, a territorial and human diagnosis, a six-year strategic plan and a three year action plan. The activities include the sectors and other development actors (vertical inclusive development). At this stage, what remain are political approval of the PCD’s and an institutionalisation of the financial mechanisms for implementing them.
The development of PCD’s in Morocco benefits from a methodological process which ensures an environmental part, developed more fully by the Association Targa and the Social Development Agency (ADS) on the concepts of biodiversity, desertification, climate change etc. Nevertheless, two difficulties arise in terms of environment:
The example of Morocco in the governance and institutionalization of local planning could be used by other countries of North Africa and the Middle East. Following the political approval of PCD’s, access to the website of the Ministry would allow to easily track this indicator on a quantitative level (number of approved PCD’s, funding, implementation) as well as on a qualitative level (environmental considerations and in particular wetlands included in the strategic axes and the projects identified).
As part of current work on local planning, the MWO/Tour du Valat Foundation and their partners are discussing the possibility to develop a targeted action plan including an efficient training to the teams of the operating agencies on environmental analysis. The PCD operators do agree with this proposal. They consider this training urgent as PCD’s are well underway; in the case these concerns are not included in the next two years, it would take 4-6 years before they are updated and until then what will have become of wetlands?