Morocco/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation  

5.3.5 Architecture and spatial planning

A law [28] outlining basic policy on environmental protection and land reclamation was issued in 2003. The policy is built around:

  • Protecting the environment from all forms of pollution and decline.
  • Improving living standards.
  • Formulating legislative, technical and financial approaches for environmental protection and management.
  • Setting up an accountability system guaranteeing that environmental damages will be repaired and injured parties compensated.

The law protects environmental and human settlements, historical and cultural heritage, natural resources, wildlife and biodiversity, continental water, marine areas and resources including the coastline, rural and mountainous areas, national parks, natural reserves and forests. It also identifies different sources of pollution: solid and liquid waste, gas emissions, hazardous materials, noise and odours.

The law stipulates that all dwellings must be in harmony with national construction plans, which ensure a balance of land conservation and acceptable living and service conditions. Construction plans must account for all environmental protection requirements, including respect for natural sites and cultural and architectural specificities. Building permits and partitioning authorisations may not be issued until possible environmental impact has been assessed.

The law also defines the measures to be taken for environmental protection and the related financial incentives; it called for the creation of a National Fund for Environment Protection and Improvement, which was created by virtue of a finance law in 2007.

A law [29] was issued in 2003 to conduct an exploratory study of the environmental impact of development in the medium- to long-term.  The study would determine the necessary measures to remove, reduce or make up for environmental degradation project by project. To carry out the study, national and regional committees were to be created.

The committees were to be managed by an additional law, which would discuss infringements and litigation rights. The projects subject to the impact study are:

  • Health-damaging, hazardous and noise polluting facilities.
  • Infrastructural projects such as roads and dams.
  • Industrial projects such as cement plants, mines, power generation facilities, chemical factories, metal processing plants, foodstuffs manufacturing factories, textile, leather and rubber factories.
  • Farming.

Law [30] was also issued in 2003 for the purpose of preventing harmful air pollutant emissions. The law applies to every person subject to public or private law who owns or benefits from mining, industrial, commercial or farming real estate, handicraft facilities, motor vehicles or equipment, waste incineration, heating or cooling machines that combust fuel.

The administration is to work in coordination with local communities, public institutions, NGOs and the parties concerned to monitor air pollution, install air quality control networks and identify fixed and mobile pollution sources.

Under this law, every person who incurred health or property damages as a result of gas emissions may request the proper authorities to conduct an investigation of liable parties.  The investigation must be conducted within 90 days of damage being incurred, and an application must first be submitted with an expert medical or technical opinion.

The law stipulates penalties to be imposed against violators.

Chapter published: 05-05-2016