MOGADISHU, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Somalia, the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) and the United Nations on Monday launched a joint campaign to protect the environment and reduce the effects of climate change.
The campaign, which was launched to mark World Environment Day, aims to boost biodiversity and climate resilience and help combat repeat cycles of devastating droughts in the country.
Mohammed El-Amine Souef, special representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission for Somalia and head of ATMIS, said in a joint statement issued in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, that the AU mission will plant about 30,000 trees to support Somalia by making it green by December 2024.
The campaign, which is in solidarity with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamed's Regreening Somalia Initiative launched in October 2022, will see the trees planted around some 58 military bases by the time of the proposed exit of AU forces at the end of 2024.
Head of the UN Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) and Assistant Secretary-General Aisa Kacyira lauded deliberate efforts taken by the UN to curb plastic pollution in a bid to restore Somalia's environment.
Kacyira said the UN in Somalia continues to minimize its plastic waste by prohibiting the use of plastic bags, reducing the use of plastic water bottles by providing water dispensers in offices and maintaining drinking water points within camps, providing waste bins to allow for the separation and recycling of trash and regularly organizing beach cleanups.
Somalia's Minister for Environment and Climate Change Khadija Mohamed hailed the collaborative efforts by ATMIS and the UN in supporting the government's initiatives to protect the diverse ecosystem.
Mohamed said Somalia has a great asset as it has been blessed with beautiful land, ocean, livestock and agriculture. "But unfortunately, our ecosystem has been adversely affected by years of conflict."
"We need to stand together and act to tame pollution and fight plastics," she added.