The Somali Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture (SOMESHA) is currently joining its national environmental forces in order to look for ways to achieve better standards in animal rights and protection countrywide. It is calling on the Somali people to ‘bury the hatchet’ and start a new era of peace.
Although, in Somalia, it’s not easy to make ground reporting while the country is still in an anarchic situation.
Animals in Somalia face either a certain death, displacement, fear or are destined for fraudulent trade.
Dozens of Somali wildlife have been killed and are still under threat of death or displacement day by day in across Somalia. There is also an estimated number of animals that have been shot illegally for almost two decades. An uncontrolled number of these were run into neighboring countries while many are also, monthly, exported illegally to abroad.
Somalia has experienced dramatic environmental shifts following two decades of insecurity and chaos in the country. The protracted crisis has led to an unsustainable use of the country’s resources. Corrupt businessmen, warlords, and other violent radical groups, with the help of external spoilers, have contributed to deforestation and depletion of Somalis wildlife resources.
The export is used in the maintenance of further exploitation of the country’s resources and in the prolongation of anarchy and violence. This over exploitation of resources and the indiscriminate cutting of trees have led to deforestation and desertification and, as a result, made the country more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
Somalia is also victim to flying poachers, foreign helicopters, that are hunting and stealing wildlife on the outskirts of the villages in coastal areas. The most targeted areas by the flying poachers are Nugal, Karkar and Mudug regions.
Mostly, the rural area in Somalia is unprotected. Besides that Somalia has also succumbed to over exploitation of its marine resources. Its unprotected 3,333km coastline has attracted foreign vessels, which are engaged, not only in looting the marine resources, but are also involved in flushing their wastes into the territorial waters without being accountable.
It was environmental organizations ECOTERRA Somalia and then the Somali Ecological Society, which first created awareness about environmental concerns and mobilized environmental programmes in all governmental sectors as well as civil society. In 1986, the Wildlife Rescue, Research and Monitoring Centre was established by ECOTERRA Intl.
The sensitization led in 1989 to the so-called ‘Somalia proposal’ and a decision by the state parties to CITES, which established for the first time a worldwide ban on the trade of elephant ivory. Later, activist and Goldman Environmental Prize Award winner honorable Fatima Jibrell created local initiatives in her home area, Buran, that organised local communities to protect the rural and coastal habitat.