Somalia nationals: Senior Environmental Specialist

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Mogadishu, Somalia 🇸🇴


Somalia’s environment was severely degraded during the decades long civil strife due to the absence of governance and enforcement. In the absence of an effective government, many traditional forms of natural resource management and enforcement mechanisms have been abandoned or are currently ignored.? Unsustainable exploitation and loss of natural resources and biodiversity is prevalent. Huge areas that were once tree-covered rangelands have been reduced to treeless plains; the result has been disappearing wildlife and soil erosion. Scarcity of fresh water, severe erosion such as gullying, land degradation for charcoal production and siltation of water bodies are also major issues. The adverse impacts of climate change have also exacerbated the rate of environmental degradation in Somalia.

Environmental degradation and mismanagement of natural resources are severely jeopardizing Somalia´s economy. Approximately 70% of Somalis are dependent on climate-sensitive agriculture and pastoralism. As floods and droughts become more severe and frequent in Somalia, there is a need to find approaches that can reduce the sensitivity of farmers and pastoralists to increasing rainfall variability. With natural resource degradation also rampant throughout Somalia, most notably for the production of charcoal, Somalia is becoming increasingly vulnerable to conflicts over scarce resources. Climate change and resource scarcity are aggravated by the absence of policies and regulatory frameworks on environmental management, land-use and disaster risk management that incorporate impacts of climate change and build resilience across Somalia to better cope with these impacts. At local levels, communities lack the financial, technical and informational resources needed to build their resilience to climate change as well as the knowledge of how to prepare for extreme weather impacts.

To address these issues, Global Environment Facility-Least Developed Countries Climate Fund (GEF-LDCF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is financing a national project on “Enhancing Climate Resilience of Vulnerable Communities and Ecosystems in Somalia”. The main objective of the Project is to enhance resilience and improve adaptive capacity of vulnerable Somali communities in pilot areas, and the ecosystems on which they depend, to the adverse impacts of climate change. This objective is to be realised by working on set of activities under two main components:

Component 1: Enhancing policies, institutional frameworks and government capacities with focus on review, revision, development and adoption of policies, plans and tools to mainstream and enhance adaptive capacity and mitigate the risks of climate change on vulnerable communities and critical ecosystems.

Component 2: Piloting Ecosystem Based Adaptation strategies with focus on development and implementation of models of community and ecosystem resilience in pilot areas in collaboration with the government and community stakeholders.

The scope of the current assignment is to develop National Environment Policy, environmental management bill and finalize the Climate Change Policy for Somalia, taking into account the sectoral vulnerabilities, gender dimensions of climate change, impacts and costs for adaptation. As such, this assignment falls under Component 1 of the Project. The national environment policy and the subsequent environmental management act are aimed at addressing the pressing environmental challenges by improving the coordination and integration on the implementation of environment related policies, legislation, and sectoral strategies and plans so as to promote conservation, protection and sustainable management of the country’s environment in line with National Development Plan (NDP)

The National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) will guide the selection of prioritised adaptation options and fund mobilization to upscale adaptation interventions and find parallel financing for mitigation in the future. The policy will also recommend actions for capacity development, technology transfer and mobilizing global financing to meet various policy recommendations. A wide range stakeholder consultations have already been undertaken for the development of NCCP. The consultant will write the policy based on the stakeholder consultation reports and Finance Chapter for the National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCP) which is has been drafted.

Duties and Responsibilities

The consultant will draft the National Environment Policy, National Environmental management bill and finalize National Climate Change Policy that is cognizant of the context and challenges in Somalia. The National Environment policy will include but not be limited to situation analysis, goal objectives and guiding principles, sustainable management and use of natural resources, environmental stewardship, environmental and health, environmental governance, Research, Education and M&E and implementation strategy. The national climate change policy will also entail sections on situation analysis, climate impacts, vulnerability assessment, vision and principles underpinning the policy, adaptation interventions, institutional framework, cross-cutting themes, implementation framework, financing plan, and monitoring plan.?? Specific tasks as grouped under components would include:

a) National Environment Policy

  • Undertake a desk study reviewing existing policies, laws and other instruments related to environment and natural resources management and draft sections of the policy related to the literature review;
  • Preparation of a semi-structured questionnaire to collect firsthand information from the key government functionaries dealing with national planning, natural resources management, disaster management, law enforcement, youth, women affairs, human rights, internally displaced persons, external affairs, etc.;
  • Prepare presentations, facilitation guidelines and other tools for conducting workshops with the key civil society organizations, academia, research organizations, representatives of agriculture communities, representatives of pastoral communities, organisations working on gender issues and media to collect the evidence on the extent of sensitisation about environment and natural resource management and the general understanding of the cross section of Somali society on the possible alternatives for environmental and natural resource management;
  • Carry out consultations and prepare a draft report incorporating comments and feedback from colleagues and stakeholders;
  • Prepare draft policy document containing all the relevant sections including but not limited to situation analysis, goal objectives and guiding principles, sustainable management and use of natural resources, environmental stewardship, environmental and health, environmental governance, Research, Education and M&E and implementation strategy;
  • Validation of National Environmental Policy: Provide support for the validation of the draft National Environmental Policy with the representation of high officials from the key ministries of the Government; and
  • Approval and Adoption of the National Environmental Policy: Support Office of the Prime Minister in presenting the National Climate Change Policy to the Federal Cabinet and announce its adoption after following the due process.

b) Finalizing National Climate Change policy

  • Literature review and compilation of relevant documentation, and analysis;
  • Draft Vulnerability Assessment Chapter of the NCCP;
    1. Cross-reference results with other VAs carried out in Somalia including the INC chapter on VAs, the NAPA, and work done by Intergovernmental Agency for Development Climate Prediction and Application Center (ICPAC) and Food and Agriculture Somalia Water and Land Information Management Programme (FAO-SWALIM); and
    2. Preparation of Vulnerability Assessment Maps;
  • Prepare and Present the National Climate Change Policy;
    1. Collate information collected and prepared in the previously tasks (stakeholder consultation reports and the climate finance chapter); and
    2. Prepare action plan and monitoring plan in consultation with government stakeholders and with support from National Consultant.;
    3. The policy document to detail prioritized actions for adaptation, technology transfer, capacity building and financing. These priorities to be presented as an action plan on a time scale of initial 5 years and longer 15 years (ending 2030). A concise resource mobilization strategy be part of the draft National Climate Change Policy. The policy will consider all zones of Somalia, i.e. federal member states and Somaliland, and (if need be) provide specific sections and recommendations for each zone;
    4. Validation of National Climate Change Policy: Provide support for the validation of the draft National Climate Change Policy with the representation of high officials from the key ministries of the Government; and
    5. Approval and Adoption of the National Climate Change Policy: Support Office of the Prime Minister in presenting the National Climate Change Policy to the Federal Cabinet and announce its adoption after following the due proces

c) Draft National Environmental Management bill – in consultation with the Committee for Natural Resources and Environment of the Federal parliament of Somali

  • Review the existing National and state level environment and Conservation related strategies, policies and action plans with the aim of establishing its inclusiveness and or exclusiveness in addressing environment emerging issues;
  • Review of environmental related legal instruments with the view of determining their relationship with the envisaged Environmental Management Bill;
  • Consider existing Environmental Management Bill drafts in developing the inception report;
  • Undertake consultations with all relevant stakeholders through meetings, workshops and other appropriate forums as agreed, on the relationship between their related environmental instruments with Environmental Management Bill and gather and incorporate their views on the draft Environmental Management Bill with particular focus on institutional reforms, harmonization, coordination and environmental governance;
  • Draft the Environmental Management Bill;
  • Make presentations on the deliverables to the Technical Reference Group and Project Steering Committee; and
  • Provide an Implementation Plan for the Environment Management Bill.

The senior Environmental specialist will report to the following:

  1. Portfolio Manager a.i., Resilience and Climate Change, UNDP, Somalia Office; and
  2. Director General, Office of the Prime Minister, Federal Government of Somalia and will submit monthly updates to the above officials during the course of assignment.

NB: The draft Policy documents will be articulated in line with GEF/LDCF/UNDP procedures. The draft Policy documents will be reviewed by the Regional Technical Advisor for quality assurance. A validation workshop will be organised under the auspices of the National Committee on Environment and natural resources for Somalia chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister for environment to present, discuss and endorse the final draft of the National Environment and Climate Change as well as the Environment Management Act.


The Senior Environmental specialist/consultant will be responsible to plan and complete the tasks under the four components leading to the final endorsement of the final National Environment Policy, National Climate Change Policy and Environment Management Bill. The Senior Environmental specialist/consultant will need to have following expertise:

  • Expertise and knowledge of environment and climate change challenges in Somalia, with at least 10 years of proven experience in the field of environment and climate change;
  • Expertise in strategic planning and programming with experience of GEF programmes formulation;
  • Specialization in policy formulation, implementation and institutional capacities development with good comprehension about the main areas of project focus, i.e., environmental challenges, the climate vulnerability analysis, undertaking sectoral assessments with environment and climate lens, approaches for climate compatible development, possible options on adaptation and mitigation, latest discussions and global agreements on sustainable development and climate adaptation and mitigation in the context of Least Developed Countries or fragile States. Senior Environmental specialist/consultant should have excellent English language communication skills (written and spoken) as well as computer literacy;
  • Ability to analyse the root causes of the issues and come up with an implementable set of interventions in the context of climate change impacts in Somalia;
  • Past experience of working with multi-sectoral teams;
  • Sensitivity towards the opinions of the stakeholders/team members, gender mainstreaming, possible institutional partners and Somali communities;
  • Strong presentation, writing and time management skills;
  • Experience of effective interaction with policy makers, UN agencies, donors, communities, civil society organisations, private sector etc.; and,
  • Experience of formulating multi-dimensional projects in line with UNDP/GEF/LDCF?procedures; and
  • Ability to communicate in Somali will be of added advantage.

Language requirements: Strong written and spoken English/Somali language skills

Required Skills and Experience

The Senior Environmental specialist/consultant should have post graduate degree in environment, climate change, natural resources management (land, water, forestry, biodiversity etc.), social sciences, rural development, economic development or engineering.