A month following the end of the 22nd Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the civil society pole, led by Driss El Yazami, President of the National Human Rights Council of Morocco, conducted its assessment.
By mobilising national and international civil society actors ahead of COP22, the civil society pole ensured a significant commitment by stakeholders in the fight against climate change. A diverse programme of meetings, debates, activities, conferences and side events demonstrated the commitment of civil society organisations and non-state actors for efficient and urgent climate action.
Mobilisation ahead of COP22 continues beyond COP22
In order to prepare civil society actors for COP22, the civil society pole supported the organisation of the MedCOP on Climate and six regional meetings in Morocco. This regional dimension will be pursued with meetings to be organised in other regions throughout the Kingdom.
The COP22 Moroccan Presidency established the mobilisation of civil society as one of its priorities. Thus, for the first time in COP history a meeting will take place in early 2017 between the Moroccan Presidency and civil society. The nine constituent groups will come together to take stock on COP22 and examine the different avenues of collaboration with Morocco during its presidency.
“COP22 showed remarkable mobilisation among Moroccan, African and international civil society that needs to be continued. We have to capitalise on its success and move forward. COP22 represented a turning point in civil society mobilisation,” declared El Yazami.
Mobilisation of civil society in numbers
Located in the Green Zone of the Bab Ighli site that hosted COP22 from November 7 to 18, 2016, the civil society area equaling 10,000m2, welcomed the participation of more than 300 exhibitors among 152 spaces, 680 activities, debates and conferences were organised. In total, 60 nationalities were represented. Interested by civil society initiatives and actions, 24,000 people on average per day, with a high point of 27,000 on November 15, visited the space.
Aware of the importance of civil society climate action and considering that the Paris Agreement goals will not be reached without strengthening the collaboration between state and non-state actors, high-level personalities such as Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa of Morocco, COP22 President Salaheddine Mezouar, the President of France, Francois Hollande, the President of the Comoros Azali Assoumani, the Mayors of Paris and Brussels, Anne Hidalgo and Yvan Mayeur, among others, visited the Green Zone.
The presence of civil society actors was also observed outside of the Bab Ighli site, particularly during the climate action march organised in the city of Marrakech that saw the participation of more than 7,500 people on December 13.
Ten highlights from civil society during COP22
- Mobilisation of Moroccanuniversities with a meeting of 160 university presidents from around the world and 30 academic chancellors from Africa that adopted a common declaration.
- COY12: more than 2,000 participantsfrom more than 30 countries.
- Acultural COP with 12 exhibits (arts, photo, two concerts, two film competitions organised by youth in partnership with UNCEF and the French Embassy in Morocco).
- A large trade-union meeting involving 40 trade unions from Africa and the Secretary General of the International Trade Union Confederation.
- The 2nd edition of the Summit of Local and Regional Leaders for the Climate brought together more than 1,100 participants from 114 countries represented by more than 780 local and regional elected officials. The African continent was honoured with elected officials from 50 countries and 11 island states; including a climate finance roadmap for territories.
- Meeting of Mediterranean regions presidents in preparation for the 3rd MedCop on Climate that will take place in Sicily in July 2017.
- Meeting of 37 national human rights institutions from around the world on the implementation of the Paris Agreement and sustainable development goals.
- International seminar of parliamentarians organised by the Moroccan Parliament and Inter-parliamentarian Union.
- Presence of all UN agencies in both zones of the COP22 village.
- More than 500 self-organised activities at the Cadi Ayyad University of Marrakech by the Moroccan Coalition for Climate Justice (CMJC) and international coalitions.