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International Cooperation

EPA Collaboration with Morocco

For over ten years, EPA has cooperated with Morocco in support of the U.S.-Morocco Joint Statement on Environmental Cooperation, which provides the framework for environmental cooperation under the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement. Morocco has been an important bilateral and regional partner and is the only country in Africa which has a Free Trade Agreement with the United States.
The overarching goal of EPA’s recent activities with Morocco has been to strengthen solid waste management (SWM), crisis communications, and public participation in Morocco. EPA, with funding from the U.S. Department of State, has worked in coordination with the Ministry of Energy, Mines, and Sustainable Development, as well as the Ministry of Interior, on this program.


EPA officials with participants of September 2019 Morocco Solid Waste Management Workshop.

September 2019: EPA officials conducted a project closeout mission to El Kelaa des Sraghna Province (El Kelaa), Morocco from September 9 – 14, 2019 to provide final technical advice and tools to government representatives, elected officials, and community members. EPA visited two current landfills serving El Kelaa to provide expert advice on possible low-cost immediate steps to address landfill issues. The team also visited the site of the community’s future landfill location to discuss with local officials the key features of a well-managed landfill and improved landfill management approaches. 

EPA experts held a workshop to present information resources that could be adapted to the Moroccan context and stimulate action for improved waste management practices. EPA officials shared a mini-electronic library of relevant solid waste management resources compiled to address various information needs identified by El Kelaa for improving and expanding solid waste management operational plans, recycling programs, educational resources and other tools. The team also shared the recently developed landfill operations and safety plan for the Deir Alla landfill in the Jordan River Valley and launched in Morocco the sustainability website highlighting solid waste management resources, developed by EcoPeace Middle East in partnership with EPA and EPA grantee Battelle Memorial Institute. 

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June 2019: EPA conducted a mission to Morocco to follow-up on the SWM workshop EPA delivered to El Kelaa in March 2019. This consisted of consultations and training with technical staff in El Kelaa responsible for solid waste management at the regional, municipal, and rural levels. During the June mission, a two-day interactive workshop was conducted for elected representatives from the different communes in El Kelaa; and a one-day workshop was conducted for educators and administrators at the regional, municipal, and rural levels. The elected officials workshop focused on sustainable integrated solid waste management and public participation particularly, on ways to involve the public in addressing SWM and on how to implement the Province’s plan in an efficient sustainable way.

The educators workshop addressed the same issues as those presented to the elected officials with more focus on solid waste sorting at the source, ways to raise awareness (working on SWM with schools and families, civil society, communes), reduce waste and on how to bring value to waste. The province’s SWM plan was presented to the workshop participants and often referenced during the discussions. This workshop resulted in the increased knowledge of over 60 participants on solid waste management and public participation resources and solutions. Educators and administrators at the regional, municipal, and rural levels participated. 

March 2019: EPA provided support to the community of El Kelaa through information exchange and capacity building to assist with implementation of their SWM plan. EPA conducted a two-day interactive workshop for technical staff responsible for solid waste management at the regional, municipal, and rural levels. Over 40 technicians benefited from this workshop and collectively identified measures that could be applied to remediate solid waste issues and to prepare for the development of a future landfill to be operational within 2-3 years.

The EPA team also met with NGOs to identify collaborative capacity building activities that could be undertaken to help raise public awareness on SWM in schools and communities. EPA participated in site visits to 4 uncontrolled landfills in El Kelaa and its vicinity and to a new landfill and recovery center in Marrakech, which is proposed as the model for the future controlled landfill and recovery center of El Kelaa. 

December 2017: EPA worked with Moroccan partners to organize two workshops, held consecutively in Rabat, Morocco:

EPA shares solid waste management principles with workshop participants.
  • Morocco Municipal Solid Waste Management Implementation Workshop: EPA collaborated with Moroccan partners to conduct a workshop for national government agencies and representatives from three rural communities on the development and implementation of integrated solid waste management plans. As a next step, EPA began planning to provide technical assistance in one of these communities.

  • Morocco Crisis Communication and Public Participation Workshop: This workshop focused on the various elements of public participation and communication related to waste management, providing a framework for agencies, community groups, and citizens to explore how to work together to advance waste management efforts and reduce potential adverse health and environmental impacts during a crisis. EPA facilitators presented fundamental concepts and tools for both public participation and crisis communication, stressing the crucial role that social media plays in managing communications with the public on environmental incidents.

2010 - 2015:  Under a prior inter-agency agreement with the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency worked with the Moroccan Ministry of Environment on a variety of technical assistance and capacity building projects on environmental governance and enforcement and public participation in environmental decision-making.

Activities included:

  • Partnerships with government institutions to develop permitting, enforcement and compliance assistance programs for water and wastewater treatment plants.
  • Development and implementation of enforcement, permitting and compliance programs for air pollution and hazardous waste at industrial facilities. 
  • Launch of the International Public Participation Guide and training, including January 2013 workshop in Rabat, Morocco on Strengthening Public Participation in Environmental Decision-Making: Building Connections for Africa and the Middle East.
EPA's Landscape Ecology Branch also developed several publications on landscape and land use change in Morocco. These documents may be downloaded here.
  • Regional Assessment of Landscape and Land Use Change in the Mediterranean Region, Morocco Case Study (1981–2003) 
  • Locating Changes in Land Use from Long Term Remote Sensing Data in Morocco 
  • Booming markets for Moroccan argan oil appear to benefit some rural households while threatening the endemic argan forest 

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Agreements and Relevant Documents


Learn More About Morocco

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For additional information on EPA's work in the Middle East, contact:
Cristina Mercurio
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of International and Tribal Affairs (2650R)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460
(202) 564-6600