Press Release: Enhancing Climate Resilience of the Vulnerable Communities and Ecosystems in Somalia

21 November 2014

Mogadishu, Somalia —The Government of Somalia, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is set to begin an innovative and novel project enhancing climate resilience of vulnerable communities and ecosystems through a US$8 million initiative.

With financing from the Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) Least Developed Country Countries Fund (LDCF), the initiation of this project serves as an example of how UNDP can be effective in one of the most challenging countries in the world to work in, crafting a project that can be implemented in all semi-autonomous and independent regions – South and Central, Puntland and Somaliland. This project represents a very important step in the right direction for Somalia.

Green shoots of peace and development are emerging in Somalia, after a particularly difficult period of instability. UNDP is at the forefront to help the people of Somalia to recover from years of conflict, while setting the country on the path to sustainable development. In recent years, Somalia has experienced changes in weather and climate that are affecting the country’s economic and social development. Facing increasing uncertainty for seasonal and annual rainfall levels, rising surface temperatures, sea level rise, and the loss of lives and livelihoods dependent on fragile or over-exploited ecosystems and natural resources, there is concern that future climate changes could exacerbate displacement in the region and intensify conflict over scarce natural resources, including water.

Approximately 70% of Somalis are dependent on climate-sensitive agriculture and pastoralism. As floods and droughts become more severe and frequent in Somalia, there is a need to find approaches that can reduce the sensitivity of farmers and pastoralists to increasing rainfall variability. To address these issues, LDCF financing will be used to support ministries, districts, NGOs/CBOs to integrate climate change risks in Natural Resource Management and disaster preparedness. Climate risk management will be institutionalized from national to local levels. CBOs will be revitalized to take the lead on implementing community-based Ecosystem-based flood preparedness and other adaptation measures.

“To date most support to Somalia has been relief and reconstruction, but we are now moving beyond this, and will start addressing some of the real drivers of conflict to enhance resilience, especially within the most vulnerable communities,” said Tom Twining-Ward, UNDP/GEF Global Technical Advisor.

The Least Developed Countries Fund of the GEF focuses on reducing the vulnerability to climate change of those sectors and resources that are central to development and livelihoods. Recognizing that energy and environment are essential for sustainable development, while also noting that the poor are disproportionately affected by environmental degradation and lack of access to clean affordable energy services, UNDP helps countries strengthen their capacity to address these challenges at global, national and community levels, seeking out and sharing best practices, providing innovative policy advice and linking partners through pilot projects that help poor people build sustainable livelihoods.

UNDP is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners.

Contact information:

In Mogadishu/Nairobi Abdul Qadir Rafiq, Project Manager, Environment and Energy, Email: abdul.qadir@undp.org, Tel: +254 714 056 483

In Istanbul: Tom Twining-Ward, UNDP-GEF Global Technical Advisor, Email: tom.twining-ward@undp.org

Tel: +90 5396532807