Empowering Environmental Defenders in Somalia : A Journey of Resilience and Advocacy

Somalia, with its rich traditional clan system and the melodious Somali language, captivates and equally creates uncertainty in the hearts of millions worldwide. Yet, few have experienced the true beauty of its unspoiled beaches and vast landscapes, perfectly suited for the pastoralist lifestyle of its people.

Amidst this breathtaking scenery, a dedicated group of individuals and organizations passionately works to protect the environment and safeguard the country’s precious natural resources. These environmental activists play a vital role in promoting sustainability, conserving biodiversity, and advocating for clean energy options. Their mission is driven by a deep understanding of the impact of climate change on a population whose way of life is deeply rooted in semi-nomadic traditions.

Undoubtedly, the work of environmental defenders is noble and inspiring, but it is not without its challenges. They face a myriad of obstacles, from intimidation and harassment to threats from various actors.

To bolster the resilience of these brave defenders and equip them with the knowledge and tools they need, Natural Justice: East Africa Hub, with a focus on Somalia, has been facilitating a two-day training workshop in the country’s capital, Mogadishu.

The training serves as a dynamic platform for environmental defenders to intimately engage with Somalia’s legal framework for environmental protection. Providing a comprehensive overview of the laws and regulations governing their work, empowering them to navigate the complex terrain with confidence and purpose.

The core focus of the training is to arm the environmental defenders with the means to effectively advocate for the preservation of Somalia’s natural resources and environment. By imparting in-depth insights into the legal landscape, the workshop will enable defenders to address environmental issues with newfound clarity, while asserting their rights in the face of daunting challenges.

An essential aspect of the workshop is to underscore the significance of personal safety and protection. Participants delve into conflict resolution techniques and are exposed to security measures tailored specifically to the intricate Somali context. 

This emphasis on safety aims to equip environmental defenders with the ability to navigate challenging environments and engage with diverse cultural norms, building stronger connections with local communities and creating a conducive and supportive environment to carry out their essential work.

The training workshop goes beyond conventional learning, fostering a spirit of resilience and advocacy among the participants. Collaborative exercises and engaging discussions ignite a sense of camaraderie, as environmental defenders from various regions of Somalia discover shared goals and aspirations.

As the workshop concludes, Natural Justice is optimistic that the environmental defenders will return to their respective regions, armed with newfound knowledge and a profound sense of purpose, ready to embark on a journey strengthened by unity to confront the challenges that lie ahead.
In the enchanting landscapes of Somalia, where nature’s beauty meets the resilience of its people, environmental defenders continue to thrive as guardians of the environment. Their unwavering dedication and spirit of advocacy paint a vivid picture of a brighter and sustainable future for Somalia and its cherished natural treasures. With Natural Justice East Africa Hub as their steadfast ally, these defenders stand firm in their resolve to protect the environment and empower their communities for generations to come.

23 July 2023


Environmental Defenders


Climate Change; Environmental Justice, Human Rights Defenders Fund, environmental impacts



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