Friday, April 29, 2016

Moroccan Students to Plant 50,000 Trees

By 2017, school students in the Casablanca-Settat region will be involved in an environmental protection project that should see the planting of 50,000 trees

"A tree for each student"

This operation, which is part of an ongoing project initiated by the ministry several years ago under the motto "a tree for each student", is intended to strengthen awareness regarding the dangers of climate change.

During the last 20 years, 90% of the 6,457 natural disasters were caused by floods, storms, heat waves, and drought - all related to weather events, according to a report from the UN Office for Disaster Reduction.

The office estimates that the real cost of disasters is between 250 and 300 billion dollars per year. Similarly, according to the centre for research on the epidemiology of disasters, more than 600,000 people died and 4.1 million others have been victims disaster or were homeless following disasters caused by climatic events.

According to Amadou Idrissa Bokoye, science climate expert for the environment, Africa stands out as the continent most vulnerable to natural hazards, and where the repercussions of these are often the most significant. Between 1980 and 2008, natural disasters killed about 25,000 deaths per year and 320 million affected over this time in Africa.

Floods alone have killed dozens of Moroccans in the past two years

The tree planting project in Casablanca-Settat comes on the eve of the COP22 conference to be held in Morocco.  Students will not only plant trees, but will better understand the issue of climate change. Each student will take care of the tree they plant and follow its evolution throughout their school career with the aim of enhancing awareness of the need to protect forests and biodiversity and develop eco-friendly behaviour.

Since the project began back in 2008, 80,000 trees have been planted in schools

Despite the existence of some historic green spaces Casablanca, such as the Park of the Arab League, the ISESCO Park (Ex Murdoch garden) or the Hermitage, the total area of green spaces (nearly 5m2 / person) remains well below the World Health Organisation recommendation (20m2 / capita).

The operation "a tree to each student" also complements the efforts of all stakeholders, including elected officials and civil society, and aim to increase the green areas in the region.

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