Opening address: Gordon A. Mackenzie, UNEP Collaborating Centre on Energy and Environment, Denmark


Your Excellencies, Secretary of State, Resident Representative of UNDP and representative of the Netherlands


Ladies and gentlemen


First of all, I must apologise for making this speech in English. I hope you will excuse me. I assure you that the rest of today’s proceedings will be in French and that I will be doing my best to follow in my rudimentary school French.


The UNEP Collaborating Centre on Energy and Environment, where I am based, is situated in Denmark, close to Copenhagen. The Centre, which is hosted by 6the Danish National Research Laboratory, Risø, is affiliated to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and is responsible for much of the technical work in the field of energy and environment done by UNEP. In particular, a great deal of the work associated with climate change mitigation, the clean development mechanism and sustainable development, is done at the Centre


I have the honour of representing UNEP which is supporting this forthcoming activity on developing capacity for the Clean Development Mechanism – CDM - in Morocco. I should say right away that the UNEP support is made possible through a grant from the Netherlands Government which is funding a 4-year programme, involving 12 developing countries, of which Morocco is one.


The UNEP Centre, assisted by 5 regional centres – in this North African and Middle Eastern region, as well as in sub-Saharan Africa (2 Centres), Latin America and Asia - is implementing this programme.


I also have the pleasure to say a few words on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – our sister organisation. As you know, UNDP has been supporting climate change related activities in Morocco for several years, assisting government to build up its capacity to address these important and complex issues – and to fulfil its obligations to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).


In this latest activity that is the subject of today’s workshop – the Clean Development Mechanism – I am happy that UNEP and UNDP resources can be combined to assist he Moroccan Government to establish and make operational a National Authority for the CDM – related to the country’s obligation under the Kyoto Protocol of the UNFCCC.


However, the CDM should not be seen as an obligation, but rather as an opportunity.  I do not need to go into the details now, as most of you are aware of the opportunities presented by the CDM. There will be ample time to discuss, explore and exploit these opportunities over the coming months and years.


I would like to close now by once more thanking the Government of the Netherlands for funding the UNEP part of the project. Thanks of course to the Government of Morocco for hosting the project and for the excellent collaboration in this introductory phase. I look forward to a highly productive workshop, and indeed what promises to be a most interesting and successful project over the next 3 years.


Thank you.