National Workshop to foster IMAP Implementation in Morocco

21.02.2018

The capacity building workshop to support national implementation of the Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Programme (IMAP) was held in Rabat, Morocco (19-21 February 2018) under the auspices of the Secretary of State to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development of Morocco and the support of the EU-funded EcAp MED II project.

The two-day workshop attracted a high level of participation, including officials and representatives of the Secretary of State, public sector, research and academia, civil society and Non-Governmental Organizations.

It  focused on two components of IMAP, namely Eutrophication (Ecological Objective 5) and Marine Litter (Ecological Objective 10). It also addressed the implementation of the “Adopt-a-beach” and “Fishing-for-Litter” pilot rojects envisaged in the Regional Plan on Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean and supported by the EU-funded Marine Litter MED project. The Sustainable Consumption and Production Regional Activity Centre (SCP-RAC) gave a comprehensive presentation on the available alternatives aiming at the reduction of the single-use plastic bags including elements on the technical assistance provided to Morocco in the framework of the EU-funded Marine Litter MED project. Brief information on the Shared Environment Information Systems (SEIS) and on Coast and Hydrography (Ecological Objectives 7 and 8) were also presented.

Eutrophication and Marine Litter experts, representing the UN Environment/Mediterranean Action Plan and its MED POL Programme, presented the methodology and strategy for assessing the marine environment by applying the following IMAP Common Indicators:

  • Common Indicator 13: Concentration of key nutrients in the water column
  • Common Indicator 14: Chlorophyll-a concentration in the water column
  • Common Indicator 22: Trends in the amount of litter washed ashore and/or deposited on coastlines (including analysis of its composition, spatial distribution and, where possible, source);
  • Common Indicator 23: Trends in the amount of litter in the water column including microplastics and on the seafloor.

Participants in the workshop extensively discussed the IMAP guidance and assessment factsheets, metadata reporting templates, as well as examples of existing monitoring schemes. Elements for monitoring the Candidate Indicator 24 -Trends in the amount of litter ingested by or entangling marine organisms focusing on selected mammals, marine birds and marine turtles (EO10), were also presented.

The workshop findings highlighted the need for further harmonization of the approaches and the applied methodologies related to monitoring the IMAP indicators for Eutrophication and Marine Litter at the national level with the overall objective of rendering these indicators operational the earliest possible. The need for better coordination in the existing national initiatives and activities was also identified and supplementary small-scale meetings was agreed to be organized towards that direction.

Date of Article: 
Wednesday, February 21, 2018