30 April 2019, Mogadishu.  A set of milestones to meet three Rio Conventions on climate change, biodiversity and desertification were agreed at a high-level environment meeting this month, which was hosted by the Deputy Prime Minister of Somalia, H.E. Mahdi Guled, in Mogadishu. 

The three-day meeting was attended by federal and federal member state officials, civil society organisations and UN representatives, and was organised by the Directorate of the Environment of the Office of the Prime Minister, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF).

In his opening remarks, Deputy Prime Minister Guled highlighted the importance of inter-governmental coordination on environmental issues, and reiterated his government’s commitment to address climate change and environmental destruction.

“Our Government is prioritising the environment in its development plans and we will focus on environmental problems, including; climate change, deforestation, wildlife extinction, loss of biodiversity, waste management, overfishing and marine conservation,” he said.

During discussions over the three days, attendees at the meeting carried out an in-depth analysis of current policy and legal frameworks for environmental governance in Somalia. They also assessed the country’s ability to meet the Rio Conventions targets, before agreeing a set of roadmap milestones to integrate the Rio Conventions at the federal and federal member state level, and in environmental policies.

The milestones included gender-responsive national targets for biodiversity conservation, sustainable land use and climate change adaptation; the passing of an environmental bill for mandatory environmental impacts assessments, and compliance to environmental quality standards; and implementing projects for community based natural resources management.

Achievement against these milestones will be monitored regularly as part of a government led project on environmental governance, which is supported by UNDP and GEF.

Abdul Qadir, Climate Change and Resilience Portfolio Manager for UNDP Somalia, said setting strong foundations and milestones for environmental management was critical in protecting the environment, and ensuring the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could be met in Somalia.

“UNDP will continue to support the federal government and federal member states on coordinated actions to address impacts of climate change, and reverse environmental damage, so that Somalia can meet its obligations as a signatory to the Rio Conventions,” Mr. Qadir said.


Abdul Qadir, Climate Change and Resilience Portfolio Manager, United Nations Development Programme Somalia. Email: abdul.qadir@undp.org

Keelin FitzGerald, Communications Specialist, United Nations Development Programme Somalia. Email: keelin.fitzgerald@undp.org


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