Some of the six thousand trees donated by Upeace University. The University pledged to donate 100 thousand trees to support the Government’s re-greening initiative
MOGADISHU—President Dr Hassan Sheikh’s afforestation campaign received a significant boost after the United Nations University for Peace (UPEACE) delivered over 6,000 treelings, the first batch of hundred-thousand in the pipeline.
The trees were handed over to the Ministry of Environment and will be planted in Mogadishu. UPEACE became the first organization to respond to the President’s initiative.
In October last year, President Hassan Sheikh launched the National Regreening Initiative. This project aims to plant 10 million trees across Somalia to boost biodiversity and climate resilience and curb deforestation amid devastating droughts. The Somali leader planted the inaugural seedlings of a Tamarind tree in Mogadishu.
“The primary aim of UPEACE was to promote peace and address conflicts. Climate changes are becoming the main reason for conflict among pastoralists due to the scarcity of water and pasture,” said Dr Mohamed Yussuf, UPEACE country director, during a ceremony held at Aden Adde Airport during the arrival of the treelings.
Upeace Somalia Country Director Dr Mohamed Yussuf (left) is shaking hands with Dr Said Mohamed Ali, the assistant minister in the Ministry of Environment while handing over the treelings donated by the University.
UPEACE’s effort in contributing to the Somali Government’s greening initiative is in line with AU’s “Great Green Wall”, which aims to restore 250 million acres of degraded land and bring security to one of the most impoverished regions on earth, stemming conflict and stopping mass migration.
In Somalia, multidimensional and interlinked aspects of climate change, land degradation and food insecurity hamper sustainable development, and famine remains a systematic risk. The Green Somali Initiative seeks to contribute to sustainable solutions to these challenges in the country.
“On behalf of the University’s top management, I would like to thank the organizations and the AU that supported us with this noble activity. We are determined to support the Federal Government in achieving its goal of greening the country, which is why we are leading the way by donating the first hundred thousand trees,” added Dr Mohamed Yussuf.
“This is a good start and a great initiative by UPEACE University, and on behalf of the Government, I would like to extend my appreciation to the University and the Africa Union for this generous donation of 100 thousand trees,” noted Dr Said Mohamed Ali, the assistant minister in the Ministry of Environment.
He added that the donation “will help us implement the President’s plan to have a hundred thousand trees planted in Mogadishu by December. Greening Somalia is a top environmental priority for the government, and it will go a long way in addressing challenges caused by Climate change.”
Deforestation is a problem everywhere, but within a country that is suffering as much as Somalia, there is no greater need for an economically viable option. Cutting down nearly 2.5 million trees yearly is just making the country worse than before.
In November 2022, while addressing the COP27 Summit at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, on the impact of climate change on Somalia and the need for long-term global solutions.
Mohamud told the summit that more than 7 million Somalis struggle to satisfy their most basic requirements and pleaded with international partners for immediate assistance, asking, “Why are we here after 26 years?”
President Hassan, however, emphasized the Somali government’s commitment to addressing the phenomenon, stating that his administration had established an entire ministry dedicated to dealing with the environment and climate change and launched a greening program dubbed “the Somalia greening initiative” to address climate change issues.