South Central States seek charcoal reduction; alternative livelihoods promoted

May 24, 2017

Alternative livelihoods will benefit women as much as possible

Somalia will continue to work on reducing the trade and domestic use of charcoal, which severely damages the environment, by expanding alternative livelihoods opportunities in Jubaland and the South Central States, followed by Jowhar and Lower Shabell, between July and December 2017.

To support these efforts, the United Nations Joint Programme on Sustainable Charcoal Reduction and Alternative Livelihoods (PROSCAL) today launched a new phase. Led by the Somali Government, the project will explore alternative businesses promoting energy sources such as liquefied petroleum and solar energy. 

Charcoal is a main source of livelihoods in Somalia since pre-colonial times. In a context of protracted conflict over the last two decades, the absence of alternative sources of energy and limited income options led to an unsustainable production and trade of charcoal on the international market. Because of its contribution to conflict, the UN has banned charcoal trade with a UN Security Council Resolution (2012).

Charcoal production increased by 300% between 1995 and 2005. It caused massive depletion of forests and other vital environmental resources. Charcoal production in 2017 remains a main source of livelihoods for many poor and vulnerable households.

H.E. Moalim Mohamud Ahmed, Minister of Environment for the Southwest State said: Strong political commitment, regulatory framework and community awareness are urgently needed to help us reduce the trade and domestic use of charcoal.”

Alternative livelihoods, benefitting women as much as possible, will include activities in the fields of energy, livestock and agriculture.

Directors general in Ministries of Environment of Federal Member States will act as focal points and coordinate project activities. Elders and religious leaders will work with their communities to find durable solutions to charcoal reduction.

Contact

Abdul Qadir Rafiq, Project Manager, Environment and Energy, UNDP

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