02 Apr Somalia’s Climate Change Policy Forum Held in Mogadishu
A High-level climate change policy forum was held in Decale Hotel in Mogadishu organized by the Somali Institute for Environmental Peace (SIEP) with the collaboration of the Directorate of Environment and climate change in the Office of the prime minister. The forum’s objective was to discuss practical climate actions using communications and awareness-raising on climate change impacts in Somalia and the best ways that National Climate Change policy can be implemented endorsed by the cabinet. The Theme of the event was “Effective Climate Policy through Communications and Outreach). The Forum brought together policymakers such as Ministers, Parliamentarian, Environmental Experts, academicians, and journalist, activists to deliberate on how best Somalia can protect its environment and minimize the cost of climate change.
The Permanent Secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister Dr. Mohamed Ibraahim opened the forum , who highlighted the gaps in climate research “The climate data we have now is made from other countries, Therefore, it is essential to create and strengthen our research centers to generate our own data, technologies and feed the policy-makers and citizens.”
The event kicked off with three informative presentations titled “Climate Facts in Somalia and Climate Change Progress [Key Policy Summaries] and Climate Change Communication and Outreach [Early warning and early action) by Dr. Elimi, a senior Water and Climate Change Specialist, Abdisamad Haji, the Director of the Department of Climate Change of the Office of the Prime Minister, and Mr. Abdikafar Abubaakar, senior advisor of Climate Communications and Disaster Management, respectively.
Dr. Elmi, one of the key presenters, mentioned his presentation that resilience has steps to be respected, such as principles, policy, plans, program, and project. For the case of Somalia, it has been started the last stage, which is the project.
The presentations were followed by a policy-makers roundtable discussion, and among the panelists were; Dr. Mahad M. Hassan, the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Ports and Marine Transport, Hon. Dahir Abdi Deputy Ministry of Water and Energy, Hon. Zakariya Haji Abdi, a federal member of parliament, Mr. Ahmed Yusuf, the Director of the Environmental and Climate Change, and Sahra Abdi, the Director of the Durable Solutions at the Ministry of Planning. The event was supported by The UK embassy in Somalia in order to improve understanding of climate change actions and responsibilities amongst key stakeholders and decision-makers, underpinned by an awareness of the impacts and risks.
All panelists, presenters, and participants underlined there is limited understanding about climate-associated risks in Somali society, and they recommended having such events for climate awareness creation from policy level to households and individuals. Minister Mahad said that ” kids run away from the fire because of its risk, and therefore, once people understand the climate change risks more clearly, they will act quickly ”
Deputy minister of energy and water said that ” Climate policy shall be turned into awareness program using National TVs and Radio broadcast to educate society.” Abdikhafar, who is an expert on climate communication, underlined that in Somalia, climate data has been controlled by the International agency. They only do release early warning and information just to receive funds from the donors but not by social informing and education benefits.”