Seven years ago in 2012, a United Nations Security Council Resolution placed an embargo on the export of charcoal from Somalia. The embargo sought to address illegal logging, massive deforestation and land degradationwhich charcoal production in Somalia had been fueling, in addition to exacerbating communal violence and regional conflicts, which often led to humanitarian crises.
The United Nations, the Somali government and other partners have coordinated various initiatives to promote more sustainable alternative energy sources and to diversify income for communities.
In April 2019, UN Environment hosted a multilateral meeting of the Federal Republic of Somalia, the Gulf States and Somalia’s neighboring countries to bring together regional partners in support of the Somalia charcoal ban.
According to Hussein Mohamoud Hussein, Somalia’s Minister of Livestock, Forestry and Range, the production, use, and illegal trade of charcoal presents great environmental, security, economic and health challenges to Somali citizens. In his opening statement at the meeting, the minister also underlined the immense local and regional conflict that resulted from the prohibited trade. He lauded the Kingdom of Saudi Arabiafor its efforts and contribution towards enforcing the charcoal ban.
Representatives of the governments of Iraq, Oman and Djibouti agreed that the illegal trade represents both an environmental and security threat to the region, and reiterated their support to the Government of Somalia.
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