UNSOS Commemorates World Environment Day

9 Jun 2024

UNSOS Commemorates World Environment Day

Mogadishu – The UN, ATMIS, and FGS personnel participated in a ceremony to commemorate World Environment Day. To mark the occasion, representatives from the three entities planted trees and toured a wastewater management plant operated by UNSOS.

In her remarks at the ceremony, UNSOS Director of Mission Support Qurat-ul-Ain Sadozai highlighted UNSOS’ tree planting programme, which aims to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change and land degradation in Somalia.

“We dropped 60,000 seedballs in Baidoa in 2021 using drones and planted more than 100,000 tree seedlings at different camps and Forward Operating Bases. We are also treating and recycling approximately 22 million litres of wastewater per month to meet our non-potable water needs,” she said.

To mark the occasion, Director Sadozai also gifted Director Abdirahim Barre Mohamed from the FGS Ministry of Environment and Climate Change a fruit tree seedling.

Outlining UNSOS' broader conservation efforts, Director Sadozai reiterated UNSOS’ commitment to environmentally sustainable practices.

“We use reusable products like water dispensers and energy- efficient LED lights to minimize our carbon footprint. We are also recycling treated wastewater to reduce freshwater abstraction and manage waste in all supported sites to curb the risks posed to communities and prevent land degradation,” she said.

Director Sadozai also noted the expansion of the UN’s energy consumption from renewables and drew attention to a power plant in Baidoa which was providing electricity to the UN, ATMIS, and the local community from renewable sources. This was part of the UN’s global efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.

UNSOM Deputy Special Representative RaiZenenga commended the Federal Government of Somalia’s dedication to promoting land restoration  and environmental conservation. He underscored that the UN will continue to support the country in developing and implementing climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.

“The successful community-led initiatives in Somalia, such as the participation in the Great Green Wall initiative to address desertification, climate change, and biodiversity loss, are evidence of the commitment to preserving the environment,” he said.  

Deputy Special Representative Zenenga also praised the resilience and determination of local communities in restoring degraded land through practices like agroforestry and the Federal Government of Somalia's seed bank.

ATMIS Deputy Special Representative Siyuvile Thandikhaya Bam shared that the ongoing troop drawdown was taking into account the need to remove all hazardous materials and restore land at Forward Operating Bases being closed or handed over to Somalia Security Forces.

“We recognize that it matters a lot that as we handover key locations to the Federal Government of Somalia and drawdown, we must continue to initiate environmental restoration efforts in our Forward Operating Bases and communities.”

Director Mohamed from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change emphasized the government’s dedication to safeguarding Somalia’s natural resources and promoting climate resilience, noting that climate change, deforestation, and pollution are pressing issues that threaten our environment and livelihoods. “It is imperative that we take decisive action to address these challenges, not only for ourselves but for the future generations,” he said.

Designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972, World Environment Day is celebrated every 5th June to raise awareness about the environment and inspire solutions to pressing challenges. This year’s celebration focuses on the theme, “land restoration, desertification, and drought resilience.”

Article type