Al Hoceima coast

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Al Hoceima Coast map.jpg

CASE description

The coast of Al Hoceima is located in the central part of the northern of Morocco, along the Mediterranean Sea. Two large units can be distinguished within the Coast: Al Hoceima Bay (marked by a large alluvial plain), Al-Hoceima National park, (45 kilometres of coastline) characterised by some of the highest rocky cliffs in the whole of the Mediterranean.

Coastal erosion (Author: Mohamed El Andaloussi)

ICZM phase

Setting the vision

Main coastal issues

  • Urban sprawl and Coastal Planning
  • Coastal resources management
  • Climate change impacts

Relation between coastal issues and the ICZM protocol principles and articles.

The following articles and principles of the ICZM protocol are relevant for the work carried out in this CASE:

Issue Articles Principles
Urban sprawl and Coastal Planning Article 6

General Principles of Integrated Coastal Zone Management

(f) The formulation of land use strategies, plans and programmes covering urban development and socio-economic activities, as well as other relevant sectoral policies, shall be required.
Article 11

Coastal Landscapes

1. The Parties, recognizing the specific aesthetic, natural and cultural value of coastal landscapes, irrespective of their classification as protected areas, shall adopt measures to ensure the protection of coastal landscapes through legislation, planning and management.
Article 23

Coastal Erosion

2. The Parties, when considering new activities and works located in the coastal zone including marine structures and coastal defence works, shall take particular account of their negative effects on coastal erosion and the direct and indirect costs that may result. In respect of existing activities and structures, the Parties should adopt measures to minimize their effects on coastal erosion.
Coastal resources management Article 6

General Principles of Integrated Coastal Zone Management

(i) Preliminary assessments shall be made of the risks associated with the various human activities and infrastructure so as to prevent and reduce their negative impact on coastal zones.
(ii) to ensure that fishing practices are compatible with sustainable use of natural marine resources;
(b) All elements relating to hydrological, geomorphological, climatic, ecological, socio-economic and cultural systems shall be taken into account in an integrated manner, so as not to exceed the carrying capacity of the coastal zone and to prevent the negative effects of natural disasters and of development.
(d) Appropriate governance allowing adequate and timely participation in a transparent decision-making process by local populations and stakeholders in civil society concerned with coastal zones shall be ensured.
Article 9

Economic Activities

(d) ensure that the coastal and maritime economy is adapted to the fragile nature of coastal zones and that resources of the sea are protected from pollution;
(d) Tourism, sporting and recreational activities,
(i) to encourage sustainable coastal tourism that preserves coastal ecosystems, natural resources, cultural heritage and landscapes;
(ii) to promote specific forms of coastal tourism, including cultural, rural and ecotourism, while respecting the traditions of local populations;
(e) Utilization of specific natural resources, to regulate the extraction of sand, including on the seabed and river sediments or prohibit it where it is likely to adversely affect the equilibrium of coastal ecosystems;
(iii) to monitor coastal aquifers and dynamic areas of contact or interface between fresh and salt water, which may be adversely affected by the extraction of underground water or by discharges into the natural environment.
Article 10

Specific Coastal Ecosystems

2. Marine habitats

(a) adopt measures to ensure the protection and conservation, through legislation, planning and management of marine and coastal areas, in particular of those hosting habitats and species of high conservation values
3. Coastal forests and woods
The Parties shall adopt measures intended to preserve or develop coastal forests and woods located, in particular, outside specially protected areas.
4. Dunes
The Parties undertake to preserve and, where possible, rehabilitate in a sustainable manner dunes and bars.

Climate change impacts Article 22

Natural Hazards

Within the framework of national strategies for integrated coastal zone management, the Parties shall develop policies for the prevention of natural hazards. To this end, they shall undertake vulnerability and hazard assessments of coastal zones and take prevention, mitigation and adaptation measures to address the effects of natural disasters, in particular of climate change.
Cross-cutting issues Article 14


1. With a view to ensuring efficient governance throughout the process of the integrated management of coastal zones, the Parties shall take the necessary measures to ensure the appropriate involvement in the phases of the formulation and implementation of coastal and marine strategies, plans and programmes or projects, as well as the issuing of the various authorizations, of the various stakeholders, including: the territorial communities and public entities concerned; economic operators; non-governmental organizations; social actors; the public concerned.

Such participation shall involve inter alia consultative bodies, inquiries or public hearings, and may extend to partnerships.

Article 15

Awareness-Raising, Training, Education and Research

1. The Parties undertake to carry out, at the national, regional or local level, awareness-raising activities on integrated coastal zone management and to develop educational programmes, training and public education on this subject.
2. The Parties shall organize, directly, multilaterally or bilaterally, or with the assistance of the Organization, the Centre or the international organizations concerned, educational programmes, training and public education on integrated management of coastal zones with a view to ensuring their sustainable development.
3. The Parties shall provide for interdisciplinary scientific research on integrated coastal zone management and on the interaction between activities and their impacts on coastal zones. To this end, they should establish or support specialized research centres. The purpose of this research is, in particular, to further knowledge of integrated coastal zone management, to contribute to public information and to facilitate public and private decision-making.

Article 27

Exchange of Information and Activities of Common Interest

Define coastal management indicators, taking into account existing ones, and cooperate in the use of such indicators;

Relevance of coastal issues

The diagnosis established during the previous steps has highlighted that the major economic activities in the area are tourism, fisheries and agriculture. The three identified issues are significant for productivity and sustainability of all these sectors. Indeed, the degradation and decline of coastal resources has affected the well being of the local population and has led to an increase of unemployment and to a large migration to Europe. The predictive impacts of climate change and sea-level rise is likely to exacerbate these impacts.

Previous studies carried-out at Al Hoceima coast and its National Park within the context of the CAMP-Morocco project has retained the following Sustainability indicators, according to the availability of data and based on a participatory process, proxies and expert judgment:

Economic Indicator

1. Amount of fisheries
2. Value of fishery products
3. Number of tourist arrivals
4. Number of tourist nights
5. Average length of stay of tourists
6. Duration of the tourist season

Environmental Indicator (13)

1. Forest cover
2. Quality of bathing water
3. % of beaches prohibited to bathing
4. Coastal erosion (shoreline retreat)
5. Access rate to drinking water
6. % Connection to sewerage network in urban areas
7. % of treated wastewater
8. % of waste collected
9. % of waste collected and recycled
10. Urbanization rate
11. Sensitive marine species
12. Weighted score of marine sites
13. Weighted score of sensitive habitats

Socio-cultural Indicator (07)

1. International emigration of local people
2. Internal emigration
3. Rate of coastal development
4. Urbanized coastline
5. Population density
6. Rate of population growth
7. Human Development Index (HDI)

Governance Indicator (01)

Number of environmental projects

For more details on this report please visit: These indicators will be confronted with the selected PEGASO set of indicators


  • To remediate to the coastal degradation in order to sustain common ecosystem services supporting economic welfare and social wellbeing.
  • To elaborate future Scenarios based on a participatory process and using quantified Indicators.
  • To assess coastal vulnerability to climate change and propose adaptation strategies.
  • To help decision makers in their decisions regarding the implementation of the ICZM protocol through the integration of all the tools results, the use of Multi-Criteria Analysis and the production of integrative maps (GIS) easily readable by the stakeholders.

Landscape values (Author: Hocein Bazaïri)

End Products

  • Diagnosis analysis
  • Environmental Territorial Diagnosis (ETD)
  • Set of ICZM Indicators
  • Vulnerability maps to sea-level rise
  • Prospective analysis using scenarios and indicators
  • Designation of a DSS for coastal managers and planners, using a Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA)

PEGASO tools developed and used

Indicators - Participation

Other tools to be applied

Vulnerability assessment

CASE Responsibles

Maria Snoussi, Hocein Bazaïri - University Mohamed V – Agdal

email: -

Elaboration: Stefano Soriani, Fabrizia Buono, Monica Camuffo, Marco Tonino, University Ca’ Foscari of Venice.