Environment and Climate Security

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 aim to meet the short-term need for a rapid humanitarian response and the long-term objective of achieving a sustainable and resilient society. Addressing the 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. Through a Policy and advisory approach, we aim to mainstream Environment and Climate Security approaches across the UN Country Team and across the UN and its partners. Climate security is a relatively new areas of focus in terms of climate change and its subsequent consequences. A key aim of the Climate Security Team is to mainstream climate change considerations into peacebuilding approaches. We are delivering this through climate-sensitive conflict analysis, building a research and evidence basis for the links between climate change events and potential conflict, environmental approaches to stabilization.

  2. Through the coordination of Humanitarian, Development and Peace actors through various Taskforces which involve UN, Somali Government and other relevant stakeholders, the Climate Security Team incorporates a climate-sensitive ‘triple nexus’ approach and response to achieve the goals of the UN Somalia Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework for 2021 – 2025. 

  3. Supporting the Government by building national capacity to climate-related security risks. This is achieved by focusing on policy and programmatic areas for intervention relating to environment and security, and supporting the development, prioritisation and implementation of climate action plans and policies. Through the Teams role of providing technical advice and support to a variety of environment and or conflict related activities/programmes, a constant evidence base is being built around best practice in environmental sustainability and peacebuilding approaches in Somalia. All of this is used to support and inform Government counterparts and other stakeholders for future areas of intervention.