Prior to hosting the COP22 UN Conference on Climate Change, Morocco announced the Initiative for the Adaptation of African Agriculture to Climate Change (AAA), which seeks to channel international funding into the sector. Launched in April 2016, it promotes projects to improve soil management, agricultural water control, capacity building, climate risk management and funding solutions targeting smallholder farmers. Funded by Group Crédit Agricole du Maroc, the AAA builds on domestic agricultural success. The kingdom has invested in research and development, and technologies to boost yields and production quality. It already leads efforts to adapt to climate change through SouthSouth cooperation innovative insurance instruments.
With six of the 10 countries set to be most affected by climate change, the continent is relatively vulnerable. Yields could fall 20% by 2050 if the sector does not adapt. Africa only receives 5% of climate funds, 4% of which go to agriculture and 20% to adaptation projects.
FUNDING: A coalition of 27 African countries, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and the African Development Bank (AfDB) support the initiative, which promotes instruments such as technology transfer, policymaking, project implementation and South-South cooperation. According to an AfDB study, it will cost an estimated $20bn-30bn annually until 2030 to adapt to climate change in Africa. However, if climate-sensitive practices are adopted, annual sector production could increase from $280bn to $880bn by 2030. The initiative still needs to gain further traction and secure funding.
REGIONAL REFERENCE: The national agricultural policy, the Green Morocco Plan (Plan Maroc Vert, PMV), has generated international interest. “Sustainable development and climate change are at the centre of the PMV,” Hamid Felloun, director of projects at the Agency for Agricultural Development (Agence pour le Développement Agricole, ADA), which oversees implementation of the PMV, told OBG. “The PMV outlines a series of key measures through which this goal is pursued.” According to Felloun, this includes supporting pillar-two, community-oriented initiatives; securing water resources, particularly through the National Irrigation Water Saving Programme and the Irrigation Extension Programme; incentivising the rational use of fertilisers, certified seeds and irrigation systems; and valuing research results and facilitating their transfer to producers, especially for pillar-two projects.
GREEN CLIMATE FUND: In efforts to adapt to climate change, the country has benefitted from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), established in 2010 under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The GCF has approved three domestic projects in 2016 and 2017, resulting in grants worth a total of $94.7m. These have also been supported by the Adaptation Fund, launched in 2010 under the Kyoto Protocol of the UNFCCC. The country received its first grant from the fund, worth $10m, in April 2014.
SOUTH-SOUTH COOPERATION: Morocco is active in South-South cooperation. “ADA has received a request to support the Chadian Special Environment Fund in its accreditation to the Adaptation Fund and has provided assistance to the Democratic Republic of Congo with the elaboration of eight concept notes and two funding proposals for submission to the GCF,” Felloun told OBG. “Additionally, following a GCF meeting in South Korea, ADA has offered to support the Comoros and Guinea-Bissau in their GCF project proposals.”
CLIMATE RISK INSURANCE: Morocco is set to help develop an index-based parametric insurance against climate change risks. Supported by the French Development Agency and the French Facility for Global Environment, the kingdom introduced a €1.5m pilot project for the adaptation of agriculture to climate change in the Maghreb. If successful, this would have lower insurance costs than other options such as state-subsidised, multi-risk insurance. However, it requires weather stations from which the rain index-based insurance draws its data, as well as expertise and capacity to operate them.
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