This project supports the cities of Marrakech, Meknes and Agadir to develop and implement Local Agendas 21. Local teams are located in Regional Inspectorates of the Ministry of Physical Planning and work in close cooperation with Municipal Councils. The project aims at mobilizing local, national and international partners to jointly address key urban environmental problems to contribute to urban poverty alleviation. Issues addressed at local levels range from management of water resources, social integration to management of natural and historical heritage. The project will benefit the population of the three cities (in total more than 2,000,000 inhabitants), especially the urban poor who have limited access to natural resources and basic urban services and are the most vulnerable to environmental hazards. Activities
In 2002 the project supported the preparation of City Environmental Profiles, which provided an overview of the relation between urban development and the environment and analysed existing mechanisms for managing the urban environment. These Profiles offer a common information base for all actors involved in the project. They served as a basis of identifying priority urban environmental issues that were discussed during City Consultations held in the three cities at the beginning of 2003. These Consultations, which brought together hundreds of actors, were concluded with the adoption of Urban Pacts and led to the creation of intersectorial working groups around selected priority issues. These working groups met regularly in 2003 and 2004. They prepared issues- specific strategies and action plans. In each city the effort of the working groups is estimated at about 1,000 work/days. Strategies and action plan were discussed during a second round of City Consultations held mid 2004. Each City Consultation brought together about 500 actors who reviewed, enriched and adopted the action plans. Action plans are currently under implementation starting with small-scale demonstration projects. Results
- Urban environmental profiles were prepared drawing information from a very large number of local, regional and national actors.
- Key actors were mobilized in relation to priority urban environmental problems through City Consultations;
- In each city, about 150 actors were involved in the preparation of issue-specific strategies and action plans.
- NGOs and CBOs benefited from capacity building activities, which strengthened their ability to participate in project activities. Elected officials are now targeted by capacity building activities which will support their role as leaders of the city planning and management processes.
- Action plans, which were adopted during the last City Consultations, serve as a framework to guide priority actions in relation to the most pressing urban environmental problems.
- A few concrete actions have been implemented through small-scale demonstration projects. They target the urban poor and bring significant environmental improvement and support income generation or access to basic urban services. For example, in Marrakech and Meknes the project supported the acquisition of gas ovens for the production of clay handicrafts, reducing cost of the production process and eliminating the use of heavily polluting energy sources such as used tyres and fire wood.
- Through a very large mobilization of a wide range of actors, including local authorities and their partners in the public sector (parastatals and other levels of government), in the private sector, in the academic sector and in the popular sector, a strongly shared city project is emerging. Key issues are now understood and a common way to address them has been agreed upon. Citizens and decision- makers in the three cities are now coordinating their efforts to reverse certain vital problems which affect mainly the urban poor.