Somalia is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world and as such presents unique challenges in terms of natural resource management. As a result of more than 25 years of civil unrest, Somalia’s governance structures have fallen apart, and militias control different parts of the country. In addition, the regions of Somaliland and Puntland have unilaterally declared autonomy.
Land degradation is a key environmental issue in Somalia, closely linked to desertification, drought and unsustainable livestock and agricultural practices. Food insecurity and livelihoods, possible hazardous waste, lack of marine and coastal management, and the mitigation and management of natural disasters are other environmental concerns.
To address these needs, UNEP conducted the following work:
Joint Needs Assessment
UNEP participated in a Joint Needs Assessment (JNA) for Somalia, co-led by the World Bank and United Nations Development Group. UNEP was the lead agency responsible for identifying and reporting on environmental issues in Somalia. In addition, UNEP provided support to other agencies and assisted in identifying cross-cutting environmental issues relevant to other sectors.
Due to the protracted civil war, up-to-date environmental data is scarce. The JNA was a first step towards gathering current environmental information to form the basis of a Somali environmental information centre.