A conference for high-level officials will for the first time convene in Mogadishu for a milestone Government-led conference to stop the illegal trade, and unsustainable production and use of charcoal in Somalia.
8.2 million trees were cut down for charcoal in Somalia between 2011 and 2017, increasing land degradation and food insecurity. Illegal trade in charcoal acts as a major source of funding for militias and terrorist groups such as Al Shabaab, who illegally tax exports.
The conference will be held from 7-8th May 2018, and will include senior UN representatives, international and Somali environment experts, and international donor partners,
The two-day conference is supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Environment and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), with funding from the European Union, Sweden, and Italy.
Export of charcoal from Somalia has been banned by a 2012 United Nations Security Council resolution and the Somali government due to its destructive effect on the environment, and its exacerbation of conflict and humanitarian crises.
The Somali Government-led event, therefore, aims to urgently build alliances amongst consumer countries and international and local experts and donors. It intends to rally support for concrete action, including partnerships with investors, to stop the illegal trade and to strengthen ongoing work in developing alternative livelihoods and alternative energy sources in Somalia.