Posted on 06 February 2018
Ramsar designation secured with support from WWF
To mark World Wetlands Day, the Moroccan Water and Forest department (HCEFLCD) officially announced the designation of two new wetland protected areas, Merja de Fouwarat and Sebkhat Imlili, which will now receive international protection under the Ramsar Convention.
Merja de Fouwarate is a shallow swamp, which is believed to be a remnant of a large wetland complex that once covered the Gharb plain of northwestern Morocco. It is located at the northeastern limit of the town of Kenitra, at the outlet of the Fouwarate river, which is a tributary of the Sebou river.
Sebkhat Imlili is a relic of an old Saharan aquatic system, which bears witness to the time when the extreme south of Morocco was tropical. The sebkha (salt flat) is in an area of limited and irregular rainfall over ten kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean.
This Ramsar classification is the result of collaboration between WWF North Africa, HCEFLCD and experts from GREPOM and the Scientific Institute of Rabat. In February 2017, WWF North Africa and HCEFLCD signed a MoU to support the designation of 15 new Rasmar site during 2018.
“WWF congratulates Morocco on the designation of two new Ramsar sites Merja de Fouwarate and Sebkhat Imlili and on the commitment of the HCEFLCD to designate 30 new Ramsar sites in the frame of the National Wetland strategy by 2024,” said Faouzi Maamouri, Directeur of WWF North Africa.
During the celebration, WWF North Africa signed a new MoU with the HCEFLCD for the design and implementation of projects and initiatives in the field of conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity in Morocco.