To mark World Environment Day, the African Union peace mission in Somalia, the United Nations and the Federal Government of Somalia, today launched a joint campaign to protect the environment and reduce the effects of climate change.
As part of the campaign, Ambassador Mohammed El-Amine Souef, Head of the AU Mission in Somalia, the Head of the UN Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS), Assistant Secretary-General Ms Aisa Kacyira and Somalia’s Minister for Environment and Climate Change Khadija Mohamed, pledged to plant 30,000 trees around some 58 Forward Operating Bases by the time of the proposed exit of AU forces at the end of 2024.
The campaign is in solidarity with President Hassan Sheikh’s ‘Regreening Somalia’ Initiative launched in October last year. That initiative targets 10 million trees to boost biodiversity and climate resilience and help combat repeat cycles of devastating droughts in the Horn of Africa country.
“As far as ATMIS is concerned, we are committed to follow the orientation and the policy of Somalia’s President. ATMIS will plant about 30,000 trees to support Somalia by making it green by December 2024,” said Amb. Souef, the AU Special Representative for Somalia.
To commemorate this year’s celebrations, themed “Solution to Plastic Pollution,” ATMIS and UN staff participated in a plastics collection clean-up exercise along the Jazeera-Airport- Marine road.
“Plastic pollution is a real disaster and our health is affected by plastics everywhere. If you don’t take action today, it will be late tomorrow,” added Amb. Souef.
Echoing the remarks, the Head of UNSOS, Assistant Secretary-General Ms Kacyira expressed satisfaction at the deliberate efforts taken by the UN to curb plastic pollution in a bid to restore Somalia’s environment.
“The UN in Somalia continues to minimize its plastic waste by prohibiting the use of plastic bags, reducing the use of plastic water bottles-by providing water dispensers in offices and maintaining drinking water points within our camps, providing waste bins to allow for the separation and recycling of trash and regularly organizing beach clean-ups. We gather two tonnes of waste for every clean up,” she said.
On her part, the Minister for Environment and Climate Change expressed Somalia’s appreciation for the collaborative efforts by ATMIS and the UN in supporting the Federal Government’s initiatives to protect the diverse ecosystem.
“Somalia has a great asset, it’s been blessed with a beautiful land, ocean, livestock and agriculture. But unfortunately, our ecosystem has been adversely affected by years of conflict, we need to stand together and act to tame pollution and fight plastics,” Minister Khadija Mohamed remarked.
Similar events were held at the ATMIS and UN regional operational Headquarters in Jowhar, Hirshabelle State and Dhobley, Jubaland State where UN personnel and ATMIS Burundi National Defense Forces and ATMIS police officers participated in clean up and tree planting exercises respectively.
The events in Mogadishu and the sectors were attended by ATMIS military, police and civilian officials, personnel from various UN agencies and representatives from the Federal Government of Somalia and state level officials.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).