Somalia to have 1st locally trained climate change experts as programme unveiled

Programme aims to also contribute to cohesion and dialogue on environmental issues

Students accepted to the Master Programme on Climate and Environmental Sustainability attend the launch ceremony in Amoud University, Borama, Somaliland. Credit: UNDP Somalia/Mariam Farah.

Somalia will soon have the first batch of locally trained climate change and environmental experts thank to a newly launched graduate programme based on partnership between UNDP and Amoud University.

The Master Programme in Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability unveiled this week and funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEL) will benefit 30 students from across the country.

Selected from Somaliland, Puntland, Jubaland, Galmudug, South West, Hirshabelle, and Mogadishu, the students will be awarded full and part time sponsorships by UNDP and Amoud University to study in the programme.

UNDP said in a statement the year and half long postgraduate degree will train a cadre of ‘young professional environmental experts to address issues such as scarcity of water and land degradation, which in turn can help build resilience to drought, flooding, and other climate change related events.”

In bringing together young people from Somaliland, Puntland, Jubaland, Galmudug, South West, Hirshabelle, and Mogadishu, the Programme aims to also contribute to cohesion and dialogue on environmental issues, supported by technical expertise from UNDP and other United Nations Agencies, statement read in part.

The Director General in the Ministry of the Environment and Rural Development, Dr. Abdirizak Jama, speaks at the opening ceremony at Amoud University, 25 April 2018. Credit: UNDP Somalia/Mariam Farah

Dr. Abdirizak Jama the director General in the Ministry of the Environment and Rural Development said building local capacity was one of the most effective way to address climate change impacts in Somalia.

“The challenges arising from climate change need to be understood, particularly in our context, and we need to find proper ways to address them through adaptation and mitigation.”

Upon completion, UNDP said the young professionals will be competent enough to take up positions in environmental and government institutions, contributing increased knowledge to the area of environmental sustainability and resource management.

With Somalia heavily suffering from effects of environmental degradation and climate change as exemplified by adverse droughts and floods, the training will be instrumental in building local capacity to best adequately address such challenges.

Ms. Ilaria Carpen, Head of Hargeisa Area Office, UNDP, reiterated that the students attending the Master programme are leading the way. “Climate change is a reality. We rely on you, we are full of hope, that from this programme you will provide the technical expertise to address issues relating to climate change.  UNDP is investing in youth because we know that young people like you can come up with new inventions and new ways to address issues affecting the environment,” she said.

The students attending the Master Programme are expected to graduate in September/October 2019.

GOOBJOOG NEWS

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