Skip to main content Skip to page footer

Nouveautés constitutionnelles, juridiques et de politique générale relatives au Droit de l'Environnement et du Développement Durable dans le Royaume du Maroc

Brahim Zyani

elni Review 2012, Issue 1,  pp. 20-26.

While in the past environmental sustainability has been given a lower priority within the overall development policy of the Kingdom of Morocco, the situation has changed significantly in the last decade. Under the reign of King Mohamed VI and already by the end of his father’s regency (King Hassan II) substantial legal, institutional and political developments took place. On the one hand the change is due to drought, the economic crisis, and the recent transitions in the Arab world (“Arab Spring”). On the other hand, international treaties have influenced developments with the effect that laws are being adjusted to a level comparable to those set up by European legislations. This article traces the changes and provides insights into the current situation. With regard to recent constitutional evolutions and their impacts, the rights of citizens to a healthy environment was recognised and institutionalised in an executive authority. Notably, due to a charter environmental matters are now available to a public debate giving public authorities, civil society organisation, the private sector and citizens a right to engage. Currently, the charter awaits its transposition into laws which will be carried out in the coming years. The high significance of international cooperation in environmental – as well as other – matters is acknowledged in the preamble of the Moroccan constitution, with the effect that international treaties, for example the Kyoto Protocol, the Stockholm POP Convention and the Cartagena Protocol, were negotiated and ratified in the national context during recent years. There have also been significant legal developments nationally. While 10 years ago there were hardly any laws addressing the environment in Morocco, today a large number of sectoral regulations acknowledge the value of the different environmental media, defining environmental quality targets as well as addressing authorisation procedures which foresee environmental impact assessment. Further developments involve, for example, the implementation of public participation and access to environmental information, which have already been introduced in some sectoral laws, but will gradually be subject to other sectors, too. These legal developments were followed by institutional changes that generally strengthen the actions of the Moroccan Environmental Department, which itself operates dynamically to fulfil its duties. Nevertheless, the role of local departments needs to be improved since they are still weak in terms of enforcement of the laws.
This article concludes with a critical evaluation of the developments by criticising the absence of a strategic evaluation of the environmental situation and the shortcomings in the field of citizens’ rights and enforcement possibilities due to a lack of personnel and financial resources. Moreover, the lack of coordination between the sectors and unintended effects are addressed.

Access full article


  1. Dahir n° 1-11-91 du 27 chaabane 1432 (29 juillet 2011) portant promulgation du texte de la constitution.
  2. La loi sur la liberté et la concurrence (2000); le dahir créant l'Institut royal de la culture amazigh (2001).
  3. Le dahir portant création de Diwan Al Madalim ( le Médiateur) (2002).
  4. La loi formant charte de la petite et moyenne entreprise (2002).
  5. La Convention-cadre sur les changements climatiques (2002)
  6. Le Protocole de Kyoto sur les changements climatiques (2003).
  7. La loi relative au code du travail (2004).
  8. La loi portant code de la famille et ses textes d’application (2005).
  9. La loi relative à l’échange électronique des données juridiques (2007).
  10. La loi relative à la protection des personnes physiques à l’égard du traitement des données à caractère personnel (2009).
  11. La Convention de Vienne pour la protection de la couche d’ozone (2009).
  12. Décret n°2-08-229 du 25 joumada I 1430 (21 mai 2009) instituant une procédure de publication des projets de textes législatifs et réglementaires.
  13. Dahir n° 1-10-18 du 11 février 2010 (26 safar 1431) portant promulgation de la loi n° 57-09 portant création de la société "Moroccan Agency For Solar Energy."
  14. Décret n° 2-99-922 du 13 janvier 2000 (6 chaoual 1420) relatif à l'organisation et aux attributions du secrétariat d'Etat auprès du ministre de l'aménagement du territoire, de l'environnement, de l'urbanisme et de l'habitat chargé de l'environnement.
  15. Département de l’environnement relevant du ministère de l’aménagement du territoire, de l’environnement, de l’urbanisme et de l’habitat (2000).
  16. Secrétariat d’Etat chargé de l’environnement relevant du ministère de l’aménagement du territoire, de l’eau et de l’environnement (2002).
  17. Département de l’environnement relevant du ministère de l’aménagement du territoire, de l’eau et de l’environnement, (2004).
  18. Secrétariat d’Etat chargé de l’eau et de l’environnement auprès du ministère de l’Energie, des mines, de l’eau et de l’environnement, (2007).
  19. Ministère de l’énergie, des mines , de l’eau et de l’environnement (2012).