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World Environment Day and the Green Somalia Campaign

By Jacfar Mohamed

World Environment Day, celebrated on June 5th each year, is a global platform for raising awareness and taking action on pressing environmental issues. This annual event, established by the United Nations in 1974, has grown to become a pivotal occasion for encouraging worldwide consciousness and actions to protect the environment.

The theme for the 2024 World Environment Day is, “Ecosystem Restoration,” emphasizing the need for efforts in restoration of damaged ecosystems and conservation of the natural environment.

In Somalia, this day takes on a significant meaning as the country grapples with environmental challenges exacerbated by climate change, deforestation, and desertification.

Green Somalia Campaign

In response to these challenges, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud recently launched the Green Somalia Campaign. This initiative aims to combat environmental degradation, promote reforestation, and encourage sustainable practices across the country. The campaign’s objectives aligns with the World Environment Day’s goal, making it a crucial part of Somalia’s environmental strategy.

Community Knowledge and Awareness

Somalia’s community awareness regarding environmental issues varies significantly across the country. In urban centers like Mogadishu, there is a growing recognition of the importance of environmental conservation, driven by local NGOs, international organizations, and government initiatives. However, in rural areas, where a majority of the population resides, knowledge and awareness about environmental issues and sustainable practices remain limited.

Traditional lifestyles, coupled with limited access to education and information, pose significant barriers to environmental awareness.

It is commendable how the community has raised awareness among youth, who voluntarily clean Lido Beach every Friday morning. Additionally, students and members from various sectors of the community actively participate in educating these young individuals about environmental stewardship, encouraging them to contribute to the beauty of their surroundings by planting trees.

To address this, the Green Somalia Campaign includes educational programs aimed at raising awareness and imparting knowledge about environmental conservation. These programs are essential in helping communities understand the importance of sustainable practices and the long-term benefits of environmental stewardship.

Surrounding Areas and Environmental Impact

Somalia’s environmental challenges are compounded by its geographical and climatic conditions.

The country is predominantly arid, with vast regions experiencing severe droughts and desertification. Deforestation for charcoal production and agricultural expansion has further degraded the land, reducing its ability to support vegetation and contributing to soil erosion.

The Green Somalia Campaign focuses on reforestation and afforestation efforts to mitigate these impacts.

Planting trees not only helps restore degraded lands but also improves soil quality, enhances water retention, and provides habitats for wildlife. Additionally, the campaign promotes the use of alternative energy sources to reduce reliance on charcoal, thereby decreasing deforestation rates.

Recommendations and Challenges

While the Green Somalia Campaign is a commendable initiative, several challenges need to be addressed to ensure its success. These include, funding and resources: Securing adequate funding and resources for large-scale reforestation and educational programs is critical.

International support and partnerships with NGOs can play a vital role in providing the necessary financial and technical assistance.

Community Engagement: Engaging local communities and ensuring their active participation is essential. This involves not only raising awareness but also providing incentives for sustainable practices. Community-led initiatives and the involvement of local leaders can enhance the campaign’s effectiveness.

Policy and Governance: Strong environmental policies and governance structures are needed to support the campaign’s objectives. This includes enforcing regulations on deforestation, promoting sustainable land use practices, and supporting alternative livelihoods to reduce dependence on environmentally harmful activities.

Climate Resilience: Enhancing the country’s resilience to climate change is crucial. This involves integrating climate adaptation strategies into the campaign, such as promoting drought-resistant crops and improving water management practices.


World Environment Day serves as a reminder of the collective responsibility to protect and restore our environment. In Somalia, the Green Somalia Campaign represents a significant step towards addressing the country’s environmental challenges. By raising awareness, promoting reforestation, and encouraging sustainable practices, Somalia can move towards a greener and more sustainable future.

However, overcoming the challenges of funding, community engagement, policy support, and climate resilience will be key to the campaign’s success.

As the world focuses on ecosystem restoration, Somalia’s efforts through the Green Somalia Campaign can serve as an inspiring example of environmental stewardship in action.

The author can be reached via email: [email protected]