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HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa: Transformative Potential of Women’s Leadership, Major Asset in Global Climate Action

PERSISMA, Toronto  –  The transformative potential of women’s leadership is a major asset in global climate action, said, Thursday in Toronto, HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa, chairwoman of the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environment protection, while paying tribute to women in southern countries for their struggle, mainly African women.

“The transformative potential of women’s leadership is a major asset in global climate action. Through their commitment, their perseverance and their achievements on the ground, women are attesting to this on a daily basis. I should like, in this regard, to pay tribute to women from the countries of the South for their struggle – especially African women,” said her royal highness in a speech to “Women’s Forum Canada 2018”, which runs on May 10-11 under the theme “Bridging the gap: A call to the G7 for inclusive progress.”

Women’s action guarantees and maintains collective vigilance, thereby reminding each and every one that the commitment of States for the climate must continue and lead to concrete results, said HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa.

“Women’s voices must be heard. The principles of fairness and equality command that. This is also required by the imperative of efficiency. Indeed, experience shows that progress – particularly inclusive, sustainable progress – cannot be achieved unless women are involved in it and benefit from it,” Her Royal Highness insisted.

This applies to the challenges of inclusive growth and social development. This is even more true when it comes to the nagging, complex issues involved in combating climate change, protecting ecosystems and upholding the universal right to sustainable development, she added.

Concerning what women can do in terms of action for the climate, for the protection of oceans and for the development of clean energy, HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa stressed that “not only are women at the heart of those issues, at both local and global levels, but they can also bring a unique perspective and contribute original, effective measures that make them key players for change.”

“I fully subscribe to the values advocated by this Forum. I also want to pay tribute to you for your action and your struggle to make women’s voices heard, to promote their leadership and achieve inclusive development in our societies,” Her Royal Highness underlined.

HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa affirmed that “the Kingdom is engaged in promising, unprecedented projects for the development of clean energy, the protection of the coastline and the safeguard of fragile ecosystems, particularly oases.”

“In Morocco, we are fortunate to be developing a legal and institutional framework which is increasingly conducive to environmental preservation. Thanks to the will of His Majesty the King, the 2011 Constitution enshrined the right to a healthy environment and to sustainable development,” HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa underscored.

Morocco has also adopted an advanced national charter in these fields. Citizen interest in climate issue has been steadily growing, particularly since Morocco’s presidency of the COP22, held in Marrakesh in 2016, she added.

Her Royal Highness said that her commitment to the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection is a commitment of mind and heart through which “we strive to educate, sensitize and provide support.”

“This is an action for the very long-term; it requires the kind of patience, perseverance and self-sacrifice typically shown by mothers to ensure the well-being of their loved ones. What is involved is more than just management, programming, organization and communication tasks, which we ensure at the Foundation. Above all, our work is about conviction,” she said.

“As you may realize, my work at the Foundation involves, above all, an education and awareness-raising mission to promote sustainable development. Needless to say, children and young people are a priority for us,” Her Royal Highness added.

“To educate, to raise awareness and to convey information and values is a mother’s daily mission towards her children. That is our motto at the Foundation as well,” HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa, noting that the action of the Foundation is aimed at raising young people’s awareness about sustainable development – from preschool level to higher education.

“We do this through programs like Eco-Schools, Young Reporters for the Environment and the network of green universities,” she explained, adding that, to better convince and to convert to sustainable development methods, the Foundation has adopted an approach based on teaching by example.

Her Royal Highness said that the Foundation seeks to introduce children, on the ground, to the reality of the sea level rise, droughts, desertification, urban pollution and waste-related issues and threats to biodiversity.

“We teach them to sort waste in Eco-Schools so they may reproduce the practice at home. We encourage them to choose a healthier, more environment-friendly diet, to grow their vegetables in the school kitchen garden, to turn organic waste into compost for fertilization and to set up localized irrigation systems to save water,” she noted.

HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa highlighted the Young Reporters for the Environment program, meant for high school students to take ownership of environmental issues, to analyze them, to investigate, to take a stand and to engage in advocacy work in order to put an end the degradation of their environment.

“In other programs, such as those relating to air quality and the fight against global warming, we promote conditions conducive to exchange and dialogue. We work towards the emergence of common, accepted solutions, for they are the only ones likely to produce tangible results,” her royal highness underlined, saying that the Foundation joined broader initiatives, such as those launched by international partners, including UNESCO, UN Environment, FAO, ISESCO, FEE and many others.

“We have been working untiringly to ensure education and awareness-raising for all: children, adults, organizations, civil society groups and government agencies. We are firmly convinced that our endeavors will be rewarded with success,” HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa said.