MOGADISHU (HAN) November 18, 2015. Public Diplomacy & regional Security. The Somali Government has submitted its Intended National Determined Contributions (INDC) to the UN this week. INDCs outline the climate actions that individual countries intend to undertake in the post-2020 period under the new climate agreement to be decided on at the COP21 Conference in Paris, starting on November 30.
Its INDC handed to the UN on Tuesday (November 17) includes nine suggested initiatives to protect the country’s population from the impacts of climate change and to green its development. The submission notes that “the centuries old coping strategies employed during periods of drought in the arid and semi-arid climate of Somalia are increasingly becoming impractical as resource depletion removes the natural resource assets which are heavily relied upon during drought events.”
It says the demand for charcoal at home and from Gulf countries was causing “colossal deforestation” making it harder for pastoralists to cope with drought. It also stressed that with 80% of the population depending on livestock, crops, fishing or forestry for their livelihoods, environmental degradation takes a heavy toll.
Charcoal exports “fuel the war economy”, generating US$15 million a year for groups like Al-Shabaab, and it highlights a US$24 million UN-backed project to tackle the problem over two years. This will provide for a charcoal export ban as well as promote alternative energy sources like clean cooking stoves and greener livelihoods.
Other elements in the plans include projects to clean up the country’s coastline, restore mangroves and stop illegal fishing as well as emphasizing Somalia’s renewable energy potential, suggesting a US$28 million project to rehabilitate the Fanoole hydropower dam and create small-scale solar power installations. MFA