Environment

Environment

Environment creates a habitat where communities live enjoying the ecosystem it creates which is a part of the natural resources , if the environment is destroyed in this by climate change the habitat cannot sustain the habitant.

Country Environment Analysis

Natural resources form the basis of rural livelihoods in Somaliland, with over 65% of the population living in rural areas. Pastoralism is the most prevalent land use in Somalia; livestock and livestock products contribute to 40% of GDP and over 50% of export earnings (African Development Bank, 2013; Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia and UN Somalia, 2013). Livestock is the therefore the mainstay of the economy and is almost completely reliant on rain-fed fodder. In addition to livestock, the country’s main exports are bananas from the South and Frankincense and Myrrh from forested areas, particularly in the North (FAO, 1995). All of these products are dependent on water availability, making access to water a persistent environmental problem for most of Somalia. In recent years, limited rainfall and lack of water availability has also contributed to an increase in localized conflicts over access and control over this resource (Farah, Hussein and Lind, 2002), underscoring the importance of sustainable management structures.

KEY ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

Key identified three environmental issues through thematic analysis of grey literature and responses to the key informant interviews. These are land degradation, inadequate access to safe water and urban waste and pollution. These issues emerged as the most pressing environmental issues in Somalia today because of their negative impact on the quality and quantity of goods and services derived from Somalia’s natural-resource base and the resultant decline in livelihoods and well-being. The relationship between these issues, their causes and drivers is not a simple or a linear one; there are feedback loops with drivers such as conflict and poverty serving as both cause and consequence of environmental degradation. Impacts from one problem can also serve to reinforce another; for instance, land degradation contributes to a decrease in access to safe water through its effects on the infiltration capacity of soil.

Land Degradation

Land degradation is defined as the long-term loss of ecosystem function and productivity caused by disturbances from which the land cannot recover unaided. The assessment found two predominant4 types of land degradation in Somalia – physical5 and biological (Omuto, Vargas and Alim et al., 2009). See Table 1 for a general conceptual framework of the relationship between land degradation and its causes.

Physical Land Degradation

Physical degradation accounts for 36.6% of the total area degraded in Somalia and over half of the affected rangelands in the north (53.2% of the total area degraded in Somaliland) (Omuto, Vargas and Alim et al., 2009). Physical degradation is more prevalent in the North (Somaliland and Puntland) than in the South (Omuto, Vargas and Alim et al., 2009). Somaliland and Puntland are more vulnerable to physical degradation as the northern part of Somalia is tilted towards the Gulf of Aden, exacerbating the impact of physical processes associated with land degradation (Abdirahman, 2014). These physical processes include water and wind erosion as well as the impact of traction by livestock and vehicles (Jibril, 2014). As the land surface is largely bare or has minimum ground cover, rainfall—particularly the Guu rains (long rains)—removes the top soil, which then washes into the sea. Where the rains are of higher intensity, the lack of natural water breaks (including vegetative ground cover) can increase the intensity of floods, as witnessed recently in Puntland (Hassan, 2013), and cause serious erosion.

Physical degradation is exacerbated by the constant presence of livestock in one place for a period of time and unplanned settlements (IUCN, 2006; UNEP, 2005). This unsustainable land use practice replaced traditional sustainable grazing usage agreements during the prolonged clan-based civil war. Before the civil war, clan-based management systems controlled access to rangeland resources, with movement of livestock following seasonal calendars. Herds would disperse widely during the rainy season to take advantage of seasonal water courses and increased land cover (Cassinelli, 1986). During the dry periods, herds would be restricted to reserves located close to wells with access afforded only to clan members or to those who had negotiated access rights with the clan managing these areas (Cassinelli, 1986). The collapse of those systems during the extended conflict had an immediate effect on the movement of livestock. For herder safety and to prevent theft, large herds were confined to smaller ranges, regardless of season, leading to severe land degradation (Hussein, Igal and Abdullahi et al., 2014).
Penning of livestock in one area for long periods of time contributes to de-vegetation as well as pulverization and compaction of soil; both these physical processes result in increased degradation. De-vegetation reduces wind and water breaks while the compaction of bare soil reduces its capacity to absorb water, not only affecting the fertility of valuable grazing areas but also interfering with the In the north, the rate of ground cover loss is exacerbated by some members of the local communities’ fencing of grazing areas as enclosures for fodder production. This is also occurring on a larger scale as wealthy traders from the Diaspora and Gulf States with livestock commercial interest have cordoned off large tracts of land for commercial fodder production (Abdi and Ibrahim-Buffalo, 2014; Ahmed, 2014). The use of enclosures cuts off access by pastoralists, confining livestock to smaller areas and increasing the intensity of the damage caused by overgrazing and compaction. The creation of commercial grazing plots also has social consequences; this relatively new practice amongst Somali pastoralists has created inter- and intra-clan rangeland resource conflict (Ahmed, 2014). A recent study by CARE Somalia directly linked the exploitation of grazing lands to resource conflicts in Sool and Sanaag (Mahmoud, Omuto and Said, 2012).
An increase in the number of feeder roads and dirt tracks through grazing areas is affecting the flow of run-off and contributing to water erosion. Wealthy livestock owners are able to move their livestock relatively quickly from one place to another using modern transport in search of water and pasture. This has created a network of dirt roads within rangelands that are visible from the air; many of these roads have turned into water channels and gullies. As land degradation is a gradual.

 

Conservation

Environmental conservation is part of our strategy to help improve the ecosystem the communities live in and as such synergies will be concentrated on environmental activities focusing on afforestation.

Charcoal Burning Awareness

The involvement of the rural people in the charcoal production started in large-scale with the Saudi livestock export ban but it was confined to certain specific areas and later spread to all areas as charcoal became an important source of income to nomads. This was encouraged by charcoal traders who provided the producers with the materials/tools necessary for charcoal production and supplies such as other supplies such as food, Qat, tobacco etc. Analysis made from interviews and discussions with different rural charcoal producers and community elders point out that 95% of rural charcoal producers are aged between 17 and 30. These youths are principally involved in charcoal production to obtain money for: • Qat chewing • Counteract poverty • Create wealth (assets, houses, businesses) • As replacement of the harsh livestock rearing chores • Revenge, misplaced justice In the light of charcoal economy, the study revealed that those groups involved in the charcoal production for purposes of poverty counteraction and replacement of livestock rearing spend less than 30% of charcoal income for their household needs whereas about 50% of charcoal income is spent on Qat consumption. Comparatively, the other three groups spend more than 80% of charcoal income for chewing Qat.

Awrboogays town of Sool region is one of the biggest charcoal production areas of all Greater Somalia.

Pafdeso carried out an awareness to raise the importance of preserving trees and the inter-connection between tree cutting and drought,

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