About the Project

‘Your Environment is Your Life’  is a four year project (2013 – 2017) funded by the European Union (EU) MDG Initiative for Somalia, that seeks to reduce hunger and food insecurity by improving rangeland conditions in the Puntland State of Somalia. The initiative specifically covers the regions of Sool, Sanaag, Bari, Mudug, Karkaar and Nugal.

The context

Puntland State of Somalia is a semi-arid region where pastoralism dominates land use. Livestock production constitutes most of the economy, with over 60% of the population sustained by pastoral livelihoods. Assessments conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2008 found that the Puntland regions had the highest levels of land degradation in the country, and recent analysis by Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM) shows that tree cover reduced by an average of 2.8% per year in Puntland between 2001 and 2006. The region has also faced enormous environmental degradation due to the unprecedented scale of charcoal trade and unregulated settlements that put a heavy strain on local woodland resources, making them more vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

In recent years, gully erosion has destroyed important valleys used for pasture by nomadic pastoralists, creating deep gorges that often restrict mobility of both pastoralists and their animals. Mobility is a key requirement for pastoralists to ensure the sustainable use of rangelands.

The initiative

This initiative offers Puntland’s broader community – including pastoral families, urban households, IDPs, the business community and charcoal traders – the opportunity to collectively benefit from improved and sustainable rangeland resources, alternative energy sources and employment opportunities.

The project will improve sustainable use of natural resources across Puntland through community-based rangeland management activities, integration of environmental considerations into all economic planning and programming activities and galvanizing community support for environmental protection and sustainable use of resources.

It will also strengthen the capacity of communities to avert resource-based conflicts and to protect their rangeland resources through implementation of local customary laws, establishment of community-based environmental courts and building the capacity of communities to prevent misuse of natural resources at local level.

By the year 2017, the project envisages to achieve:

  1. Good Infrastructure for reducing land degradation occurring through intense water and soil erosion in the project areas.
  2. Increased percentage of grazing land due to reclamation of gulleys and development of rangeland management plans that guide land use by communities
  3. Informed communities that are actively participating in management of rangeland resources and taking charge of their livelihood sources
  1. Communities with diversified income sources that put less strain on natural resources
  2. Strong district and village structures that are proactive in safeguarding natural recourse at grassroots level
  3. An environmental law that is well understood, supported and implemented  by all communities in Puntland
  4. A robust ministry with coherent institutional, legal and policy frameworks that are effectively utilized for all the environmental management aspects in Puntland