Philippe Baptiste, the Chairman and CEO of Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), visited Morocco as part of the Franco-Moroccan space cooperation, on Friday, July 9, 2021, to meet Abdellatif Loudiyi, Minister of National Defense Administration; Driss El Hadani, Director of the Royal Center for Space Remote Sensing (CRTS); and Professor Zakaria Moudden, Director of the Royal Research Center and Space Studies (CRERS) for the signing of the Declaration of Interest of the Space Climate Observatory (SCO). The latter formalises Morocco’s participation in the initiative and makes it the 33rd signatory.
This new axis between the two countries extends Franco-Moroccan activities initiated based on the tripartite agreement between CRTS-CRERS-CNES, signed in 2015. The fields of earth observation and the fight against climate change are mentioned there. Morocco’s membership in the SCO takes place at a time when issues of adaptation and the fight against climate change have become priorities for our societies and governments. The use of spatial data to better understand environmental phenomena makes it possible to anticipate the effects of climate risks in a timely and informed manner. In addition, the SCO provides a framework of increased transparency for action and support through the projects it carries out and puts at the service of public decision-makers.
The IRRISAT irrigation project, submitted by Morocco and its partners, was one of the first three projects to receive the international SCO label. Water control is urgently needed in Morocco, and extreme drought and flood events make resource management planning difficult. IRRISAT uses earth observation techniques and innovation to provide local irrigation managers and farmers with a decision-making support system, which is entirely in line with the principles and objectives of the SCO. Morocco is also actively participating in drafting the future SCO International Charter, which is to be presented to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.
During this meeting, Philippe Baptiste welcomed Morocco to the SCO. He expressed his gratitude for this decision to continue contributing to the joint effort to find innovative solutions to climate change through the expertise of its national institutions and scientific communities.
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