At a Glance:

UNSOM’s Environmental focus works on the Security Council’s requests on climate issues within the context of SCR 2540. One of the main goals is to better understand the interconnectedness between climate change and root causes of insecurity in Somalia.

Climate-related change in Somalia has negatively impacted people’s livelihood options and exacerbated Somalia’s already grave displacement statistics. It has also left significant parts of the population vulnerable to the effects of the protracted conflict and insecurity, further climatic shocks and without safety nets. Numerous studies have shown the link between climate change and insecurity. Conditions for insecurity occur when climate related crisis contribute to grievances and increase inequality and fragility, which in turn create additional challenges to the implementation of UNSOM’s mandate. It is therefore imperative to look at climate and insecurity in a holistic manner to be able to address the root causes of insecurity, including the negative impact of climate related shocks. 

The Integrated Approach:

UNSOM has developed several solutions to respond to climate-related challenges. Having learned from previous failed responses—notably the 2011 drought—UNSOM’s new initiatives will help to deliver a set of responses that meet the short-term need for a rapid humanitarian response and the long-term objective of achieving a sustainable and resilient society. Addressing climate emergency will require interventions across the humanitarian-development-peacebuilding nexus, thereby producing durable solutions that build resilience and help mitigate future shocks. 

The challenges faced by UNSOM and its responses to them have wider implications. There is a need for synergetic policy responses that can turn the responses to climate-related security risks into opportunities for UN efforts to sustain peace.

Looking Forward:

The Climate Security Team is focusing on several areas:

  1. To mainstream Environment and Climate Security approaches across the UN Country Team and across the UN and its partners. We are delivering this through climate sensitive conflict analysis, environmental peacekeeping and environmental approaches to stabilization. We run several task forces on environmental coordination and on flooding and water management bringing together partners to respond to the issues of flooding and droughts.
  2. To form partnerships with local organizations, international financial institutions, such as the World Bank, and with relevant UN agencies, funds and programmes to deliver interventions on the ground around mitigation and adaptation approaches. We are also working with the Government at Federal and State level on policy development and delivering capacity building support to enhance the overall UN approach to capacity building. 
  3. To gather data and evidence and conduct research that will enable us to understand the links and the impacts of climate change on the political and security situations in the country. This will also help us pilot and innovate in the area of responding to the climatic shocks and how to build resilience in the programmes and projects we are delivering. 

Research and Published papers:

Fact sheet on Somalia: here

Research on Somalia and Climate security: here

Article: here