Land and Resources, Environmental Issues
overgrazing, raw sewage, desertification, water shortages, endangered species
Population pressures have led to soil erosion and desertification as marginal lands are farmed and ground cover is destroyed by overgrazing. Morocco has a low rate of deforestation relative to other African countries, however, with only 0.04 percent (1990-2000) of its forests destroyed each year. Forests cover 6.8 percent (2000) of the country’s area.
The country uses more than 90 percent of its fresh water for agricultural production. Available drinking water has been further limited by pollution of freshwater sources with raw sewage and industrial waste. Periodic droughts contribute to water shortages in some areas of the country, and the problem of water scarcity is expected to worsen as Morocco’s population continues to grow.
Reserves and national parks cover 0.70 percent (1997) of Morocco’s total land area. The country is home to 39 threatened animal species.
Morocco has ratified international agreements protecting biodiversity, endangered species, wetlands, and the ozone layer. The country has also signed treaties limiting hazardous waste and marine dumping.
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