MOROCCO TO ANNOUNCE NATIONAL EARTH CHARTER FOR 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF EARTH DAY

For Immediate Release

Lisa Swann,
202-518-0044 ext. 14
[email protected]

Morocco to Announce National Earth Charter for 40th Anniversary of Earth Day
Kingdom of Morocco First to Hold Major Earth Day Observance in Region

March 18, 2010, Washington, DC – The Kingdom of Morocco will announce an unprecedented National Charter for Environment and Sustainable Development on Earth Day, April 22, the first commitment of its kind in Africa and the Arab World.  The charter will guide policy in the country and future laws on natural resources, the environment and sustainability.  A high ranking delegation from Morocco joined E.P.A. Administrator Lisa Jackson and Earth Day Network at a Washington, DC press conference today to make the announcement.

Morocco also announced it will hold the first major Earth Day observance in the region in April, 2010 as part of the 40th Earth Day anniversary celebration taking place globally.

The King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, personally spearheaded the National Charter forEnvironment and Sustainable Development, which has undergone a nationwide, public consultative process and will form the framework for national environmental laws.

”Morocco, which sits at the crossroads between Africa and the Middle East, is leading these regions in groundbreaking environmental practices, inspiring millions of people to make a personal commitment to the environment for Earth Day and beyond,”said Kathleen Rogers, President of the environmental nonprofit Earth Day Network, which grew out of the original Earth Day and coordinates Earth Day observances globally.  “We are thrilled to partner with Morocco for what we hope will be the largest global observance of Earth Day to date.”

The language of the Charterpledges that “everyone is entitled to live in a healthy environment that ensures security, health, economic growth, and social progress, where natural and cultural heritage and quality of life are the preserved.”  It also urges environmental education, and a new dynamismthat preservation of the environment must be “a permanent concern of all Moroccans.”

Rabat, Moroccowill be a premier international city hosting an Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 24 with top international speakers and musical talent.

Moroccois the first African, Muslim and Arab nation to commit, at the highest levels of government, to carry out a national event in honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.

This includes the wide participation of Moroccan government agencies, NGOs, community groups, and the broader public in Earth Day and Earth Day Network’s Billion Acts of Green® campaign, which seeks to quantify environmental service programs around the globe in an online community.  Morocco’s recent $9 billion investment in solar energy, demonstrates the country’s ongoing dedication to harnessing renewable energy to build a green economy. By 2020, Morocco expects to have renewable energies account for 42 percent of the country’s total power installed; this major solar project will reduce, by 3.7 million tons, the emissions of carbon dioxide per year. King Mohammed VI has also launched a project to plant one million palm trees by 2015.

A delegation from Morocco headed by Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa, sister of HM King Mohmmed VI and President of Mohammed VI Foundation for the Protection of Environment, travelled to Washington, DC for the ceremony presentation of Rabat as a premier city for the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.  Speakers at the press event included Mrs. Zoulikha Nasri, Adviser to His Majesty the King; Mr. Abdelkebir Zahoud, Secretary of State in charge of Water Resources and Environment; Mr. Fathallah Oualalou, Mayor of Rabat, Mrs. Miriem Bensalah Chaqroun, Commissioner, President of the Executive Board of the Association de Gestion de la Journée de la Terre. Also included in the delegation are Mr. Hassan Amrani, Wali of Rabat, Salé, Zemmour, Zaer Region and Mr. Faïçal Laraichi, President of the National Broadcasting Corporation.

A dinner honoring Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa including her keynote address will be held this evening, with members of the Moroccan delegation and high-ranking Washington leaders in attendance.

Moroccohas a long history of friendship with the United States, beginning in 1777, when Morocco became the first nation to recognize the independence of the American colonies.

Earth Day 2010 Activities

Global Days of Service (April 17-18)
Environmental service is a cornerstone of annual Earth Day activities. Earth Day Network is mobilizing its broad domestic and international community to encourage acts of environmental service in honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. At the core of this service program is the Billion Acts of Green™ initiative, an effort to collect impactful environmental actions from individuals, corporations and governments to send a message to world leaders for urgent, meaningful change for the planet.

Earth Day Network is coordinating large and small-scale projects—from tree plantings to large-scale light bulb switch-out campaigns, home energy efficiency retrofits, school greenings and water projects, all geared to lower carbon footprints. In conjunction with community organizations, and national, regional and local governments worldwide, actions include broad-based participation by diverse cultures and ethnicities, faith-based organizations, seniors and a global college campus campaign. Actions will be counted toward a Billion Acts of Green™. Global service activities have already begun, but a major series of service projects will be held the weekend before Earth Day.

Global Day of Action (April 22)
In the United States, Earth Day Network insists Congress pass comprehensive climate legislation in 2010. Internationally, Earth Day Network calls on individuals to demonstrate a commitment to the planet and future generations by holding leaders accountable for the current state of the environment.

Global Day of Conversation (April 22)
The Global Day of Conversation is a worldwide nonpartisan day of learning and activism on behalf of the planet. Earth Day Network is joining mayors and locally-elected officials with their constituents to discuss the issue of climate change and exchange ideas about how to make their communities and the world more sustainable.

Global Days of Celebration (April 24-25)
The weekend following Earth Day, in major cities around the world, hundreds of thousands of citizens are expected to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day with large-scale events. The National Mall in Washington, DC is home to the annual flagship event. Rabat, Morocco and several other cities will host official events featuring musical talent, speakers, exhibits and eco-villages.

About Earth Day Network

Earth Day Network was founded on the premise that all people, regardless of race, gender, income, or geography, have a moral right to a healthy, sustainable environment. Our mission is to broaden and diversify the environmental movement worldwide, and to mobilize it as the most effective vehicle for promoting a healthy, sustainable environment. We pursue our mission through a combination of education, public policy, and consumer activism campaigns.

Earth Day Network campaign and programs are predicated on the belief that an educated, energized population will take action to secure a healthy future for itself and its children. The organization has a global reach with a network of more than 20,000 partners and organizations in 190 countries. Earth Day Network is a 501(c)3 organization located in Washington, DC.

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