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The Environmental Performance Review, a powerful tool for achieving Sustainable Development


Morocco is one of UNECA’s Member States that have made great achievements in terms of environmental management and environmental education in recent years. In 2012 the country adopted its National Charter for Environment and Sustainable Development. It is currently developing two national strategies for environmental protection and sustainable development, national and regional observatories of the environment and sustainable development have been established and work is under way to define Sustainable Development indicators.

Despite the progress achieved in several areas, the country is still confronted with serious challenges like the degradation of agricultural soils, the increase in chronic respiratory diseases caused by air pollution, the weak control of the industrial sector’s negative impact on the quality of water resources. This situation is foremost explained by the limitations in the legal and regulatory framework, the ineffective system of environmental monitoring, the inadequacy of funds allocated to the sector and the lack of expertise.

In order to reinforce the integration of environmental issues into all sectors, and to improve environmental management, Morocco became interested in making a systemic, in-depth analysis of a number of sectoral and cross-sectoral issues that affect the environment, such as environmental legislation, governance, monitoring, environmental education, economic and financial instruments as well as international cooperation. The choice fell on undertaking an Environmental Performance Review (EPR).

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, supported the process of undertaking the EPR, and wishes to share the successful experience with the North Africa sub-region and with the continent at large.

This advocacy paper aims at demonstrating the advantages and the usefulness for a country, to undertake an Environmental Performance Review, by using the Moroccan example. It gives the background, the objective and the key phases of an Environmental Performance Review (EPR). It focuses on the lessons learnt from the EPR process in Morocco and the potential benefits in using the EPR as a decision making tool.

The EPR is a strategic tool that allows for an in-depth analysis of a country’s environmental problems, and identifies the best approaches and measures for implementation, in order to improve environmental performance.  

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