Ecosystem services in Morocco: using and preserving biological diversity

Project description

Title: Ecosystem services in Morocco: Quantification, mainstreaming and integration of the private industry
Commissioned by: International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)
Country: Morocco
Lead executing agency: Ministère de l’Energie, des Mines et de l’Environnement – Département de l’Environnement
Overall term: 2018 to 2022


Morocco has a rich biological diversity, characterised by numerous different ecosystems. It contains forest and steppe, desert, sea and coast, and wetlands. Around eleven per cent of its animal world and 25 per cent of its vascular plants are endemic, meaning that they are only to be found in Morocco. This puts the country in second place, behind Turkey, in terms of biodiversity in the Mediterranean region.

The kingdom’s biological diversity forms an important basis for its people’s livelihoods and economic development. Forests, wetlands, coastal ecosystems and continental environments are particularly important for securing the existence of a large portion of the population. However, these resources are under pressure from several sources, in particular overexploitation, climate change, environmental pollution, and the destruction and fragmentation of natural habitats. 

This is reducing not only the economic and social value of the ecosystems for the population, but also people’s ability to reduce climate risks and dynamically adapt to climate change. All these important functions that ecosystems perform are summarised under the term ‘ecosystem services’.

Important actors have only a low degree of awareness of the ecosystems and species diversity and how to reduce climate risks. In addition, there is a lack of effective incentives and cooperation mechanisms for the private sector to make use of species diversity in the long term. In response to these challenges, Morocco has drawn up a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) highlighting the value of biological diversity. 


The value of biological diversity and ecosystem services in Morocco is legally enshrined and politically mainstreamed to protect ecosystems in the long term.


The project supports the partners in four areas: 

  1. Developing expertise: The project improves the ability to act of government institutions, companies and civil society by means of participatory processes, studies, training, knowledge management and communication. 
  2. Involvement in economic planning: The value of biodiversity and ecosystem services and their contribution to adaptation to climate change are taken into account in planning processes and political decisions. 
  3. Establishing economic incentive systems: Pilot projects work together with the private sector to develop new incentive systems and cooperation mechanisms for the protection and sustainable use of ecosystems. They also help to improve resilience to climate change and promote employment. 
  4. Improving framework conditions: The institutional and legal frameworks for the sustainable use of biological diversity and the assessment of ecosystem services are strengthened.

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