I have this urge to travel to Morocco if nothing for the sheer desire to re-enact Casablanca as Ilsa Lund, played by Ingrid Bergman. (Who wants to come along and play my husband Victor Laszlo played by Paul Henreid and Rick Blaine, played by Humphrey Bogart? Apply to @jmschroeder) While many people will be mumbling to themselves this is the stupidest idea they have ever heard, I now have a better reason to go: Morocco was one of the major cities selected to host major environmental events to celebrate Earth Day. Who knew that Morocco and the environment go together like Pringles and applesauce (Try it; it’s tasty!).
Rabat, the country’s capital was one of six cities around the world representing Global Earth Day for its environmental initiatives. For instance, Morocco has launched a $9 billion project to harness the Sahara sun; the solar farm is expected to supply 42 percent of its power by 2020. His Majesty King Mohammed VI, one of Green Morocco’s strongest advocates, has launched a project to plant a million palm trees by 2015. He has also directed creation of a national agency for the development and safeguarding of oases zones and Argan trees across the country.
In fact, back in 2010, then EPA Administer Lisa Jackson praised Morocco as a model for “its commitment to a clean, green economy.” She also praised Morocco’s leadership on the environment and sustainable development and noted that their projects offer a great example for how sustainable ideas can be spread around the globe.
Leading up to Earth Day, the city held dozens of events including environmental awareness workshops, seminars and presentations on innovative, environmentally friendly technologies. On April 22nd, Morocco unveiled its “National Charter for the Environment and Sustainable Development,” the first of its kind in Africa and the Arab and Muslim work, according to Earth Day Network President Kathleen Rogers. As part of this charter, 10 major new environmental projects were announced ranging from preserving ecosystems to environmental education in schools to fighting desertification to establishing rural development through environmental programs.
Today is the Day of Global Celebration and internationally known musician Seal, along with Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai as well as other celebrities joined Moroccans for Earth Day celebrations and asked the country to support the commitment for a Green Morocco.
I’m ready to celebrate a Green Morocco. I’m just going to arrive circa 1942 style.