nvironmental conservation has attracted the attention of the globe because the consequences of environmental degradation are diverse and affect the whole world in one way or the other. Human activities have largely been blamed for environmental degradation and to correct this, steps on environmental conservation have been taken seriously by all countries in the world. Somalia is located in a semi-arid area of Sub-Saharan Africa, with an estimate of 5,700,000 Ha of low-density woodland and 52,000 Ha of dense forest (Thulin 14). However, environmental degradation has been on the rise in Somalia, and the major cause is charcoal burning which has a ready market in the Gulf States of Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arabs Emirates. Somalia Ecological Society estimated that the
Acute water shortage the outskirts of Afmadow forcing resident to use unsafe water for household consumption. (Photo courtesy of UNEP).
annual export of charcoal from Somalia stood at 70,000 tonnes. The same society reported an estimate of 35,000 Ha per annum as the rate of deforestation in Somalia. The continuous deforestation has resulted into drought and famine that has hit the country for a long time. Due to lack of sprouting forage, livestock has been adversely affected by the ever degrading environment (Thulin 17).
Animals dying in Somalia as a result of drought associated with environmental degradation (photo courtesy of UNEP)
Though the concerns of environmental degradation in Somalia have been overshadowed by the war in the country, the efforts by United Nations Development programme targets the following; to facilitate the integration of sustainable development in to Somalia’s legislations and national policies so as to ensure the trend of environmental degradation is reversed, UNDP also targeted to reduce the number of people who lived under poor sanitation and did not access drinking water safe for human consumption ((Oduori et al 1173). The agency also aimed at a reduction of biodiversity loss, setting 2010 to have been the year upon which it should have realized considerable positive results. These targets which were set by UNDP were specifically meant to enhance conservation of the natural resources in Somalia and are in line with the sustainable development goals number 11, 12 and 13. UNDP’S target of reducing loss in biodiversity is to ensure that SDG of ensuring sustainable production and consumption patterns focuses to reduce overfishing and deforestation in Somalia. This is also in line with SDG number 12 which aims at combating climate change, hence curbing deforestation in Somalia will be a step towards achieving goal number 12. To achieve SGD number 13, UNDP set a target to improve sanitation and access to clean water.
Thulin, Mats. "Flora of Somalia: vol. 3." Kew: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 626p.. ISBN 1842460994 (2006).
Oduori, S. M., Rembold, F., Abdulle, O. H., & Vargas, R. "Assessment of charcoal driven deforestation rates in a fragile rangeland environment in North Eastern Somalia using very high resolution imagery." Journal of arid environments 75.11 (2011): 1173-1181.