WHO OR WHAT IS GTZ?
The German Society for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), which plays a leading role in these feasibility studies, is "a service enterprise for development cooperation with worldwide operations." GTZ's main client is the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Full details on GTZ, in English and German, can be accessed from:
The texts of the GTZ reply will be published on 27. October!
Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH
(German Society for Technical Cooperation)
Cooperation Technique- Republique federale dAllemagne
Dr. H. Fickinger Rabat, 27.10.2001
Mr David Conlin
Dear Mr Conlin,
On behalf of the German federal government we provide support to the Moroccan Ministry for Forests (Ministere charge des Eaux et Forets) in respect of protection and management of 3 National Parks in Morocco. The Ministry for Forests is co-signatory to a framework convention (which a total of 6 ministries have signed) between the Moroccan government and Club Mediterannee which foresees, inter alia, the construction of a Club Med village with a capacity of 3,000 beds within the boundaries of the Souss Massa National Park. The convention also stipulates that decisions on the area to be developed for the village, as well as the associated management measures, must take account of the requirements of protection of the local flora and fauna and are to be approved in conjunction with the Ministry for Forests.
Since the Convention was signed in January 2001 cooperation between different institutions and interest groups has evolved, with the aim of meeting the constraints formulated in the Convention; namely to weigh up the national economic interests on the one hand, against the conservation requirements on the other, and to come up with a solution acceptable to all parties. These latter are, on the Moroccan side, the Ministries of Forests, Tourism and the Environment; for the German side the GTZ; and, for the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) BirdLife International (represented principally by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, RSPB; La ligue pour la protection des oiseaux, LPO; and Sociedad Espanola de Ornitologa, SEO as national organisations).
Acting on an initiative of GTZ, the partners have agreed to carry out a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of the tourist project. The study is being financed within the framework of the German-Moroccan project and will be coordinated by the Ministry of Forests. We have additionally agreed that planning is to be initiated for all further steps based on the results of the study. In this respect it is emphasised that the GTZ is not operating on behalf, or as partner of, Club Mediterrannee, but fulfils its obligations within the framework of the German-Moroccan relationship.
In your letter to us you quite rightly draw attention to the unique situation of the last worldwide Bald Ibis colony existing in the wild. It was for this reason in particular that the German federal ministry for economic cooperation and development decided to strongly promote and support the setting up of the Souss-Massa National Park. Together with our aforementioned. partners we allocate the protection and conservation of this species the highest priority. The breeding, roost and feeding sites are most immediately affected, and their conservation, their shielding as far as possible from the direct and indirect influences of the planned tourist project (noise, light, emissions and traffic) will be an important factor in the evaluation of the project. Other foreseeable interactive factors (rubbish disposal and storage, use of pesticides, energy and water supply), insofar as these can be determined by current scientific means, are also included in the analyses of the aforementioned study. We work on the assumption that a conservative interpretation of possible interaction between the tourism project and the precarious status of the Bald Ibis on the one hand, and the uncertain scientific level of knowledge over the possible reaction of the species on the other, is a reasonable approach.
In any event we are attempting to register and evaluate the interaction between the planned project and the ecosystem of the Souss-Massa National Park, as well as the social-economic environment, in its entirety. Apart from the dominating factor of the Bald Ibis, other special questions, such as construction in the sand dunes, water supply (and its influence on local agriculture) as well as social-cultural aspects, are also subject to consideration. Ultimately an assessment of the economic effects, in particular on the micro and meso levels, plays an important role.
As an organisation tasked by the (German) federal government we see our brief as the provision of comprehensive advice and support to our Moroccan partner (the Ministry for Forests) with the aim of working towards sustainable development in the terms of Agenda 21. In this context the ecological, socio-cultural and economic factors are equally affected. On this basis our efforts, taking account of all factors developing from this conflict-rife environment, are directed towards giving constructive advice to our Moroccan partner to assist them with their decision-making.
Dr. H.Fickinger (Technical advisor )
Dr.U.Schmitt(Office director )