breakdown of state institutions in 1991, protracted conflict, weakening of traditional systems of
decision-making, vague tenures or resource ownership, illegal imports of huge quantities of Somali
charcoal by neighbouring countries of the region, absence of alternative sources of energy and limited
livelihoods options for a large “warring & marginalised” population have led to unsustainable
production, trade and use of charcoal.
The charcoal industry has significant implications on livelihood security, exacerbating community conflicts and increasing vulnerability to drought & floods. The industry is a source of tension, particularly with clans who dominate the trade at the expense of others. It is also a major source of funding for militias. According to the UN Security Council Report 1 , available evidence suggests that approximately four million bags of charcoal are exported each year, making charcoal exports worth $120 million per year, with profits divided along the charcoal trade supply chain, including for Al’Shabab.
Area’s most affected by charcoal production stretch from Jilib to the Somalia-Kenya border, with a focus around the ports of Kismaayo and Buur Gabo, where the charcoal is shipped off for export. To respond to the triple threat on environment, livelihood and conflict, the Somali government and the UN Security Council 2 committed to gain international support to curb unsustainable trade, production and use of charcoal. In pursuant of these commitments, UNDP, UN Environment and FAO is providing support to the Government of Somalia in implementing a comprehensive set of interventions to address the complex issues around charcoal. These interventions are part of the
Government and United Nations Joint Programme, titled, “Programme for Sustainable Charcoal Reduction and Alternative Livelihoods (PROSCAL) 3 ”. The International Conference is being organised under PROSCAL for an extensive discourse on issues related to Charcoal and to come up with alliances among key players in the broader development community to implement activities that will help in the gradual transition towards sustainable production and use of charcoal.