Marine & coastal climate security in Somalia foresight

United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)


Result of Service

UNEP will recruit a consultant on behalf of CSM for a period of 5 months. The consultant will design a methodology and gather relevant data and analysis from a literature review and a set of consultations as a background to prepare a scenario exercise which is meant to (i) stimulate a common reflection and awareness raising on potential interlinkages between climate change and existing marine and coastal security dynamics amongst relevant stakeholders
(ii) strengthen the understanding of security linkages between climate change and the coastal and marine environment in Somalia in the light conflict prevention (iii) foment more climate-informed security and political approaches highlighting possible ways to address climate security in the region and generating suggestions for adaptation approaches that promote peace (iv) provide inputs to training. Subsequently, the methodology will be applied to realize a set of narrative what-if scenarios in collaboration with local, national and international stakeholders (including national and federal governments, NGOs, private sector & UN entities) and result in both a report outlining the narrative scenarios and a lessons learnt and recommendations report. Particular attention will be paid to policy recommendations and implications for adaptation.

Work Location


Expected duration

80 working days between 1 August 2021 and 31 December 2021

Duties and Responsibilities

The linkages between Somalia’s coastal and marine areas, climate change and security have not received much attention until now. As a state that is both vulnerable, already facing complex security threats and highly exposed to climate change, climate change can only compound existing risks. At the same time, Somalia having the longest coastline in mainland Africa (over three thousand kilometres in length) and one of the most productive waters in the world, its marine resources present a unique opportunity for the country to lift itself out of poverty but are also highly intertwined with security dynamics.

In the light of the UN’s prevention mandate, deepened understanding of the impacts of climate change on Somalia’s coastal communities and marine environment and its interlinkage with human security is needed to strengthen climate sensitive policy and programmatic approaches.

Traditionally, climate and security have been considered separately and scenario approaches can help bringing the different strands together. Additionally, they can play an important role in informing the policy and programmatic agenda by highlighting how decisions and actions by different stakeholders influence future pathways.

This research will thus look at Somalia’s coastal and marine security dynamics through a climate change lens. Taking a foresight approach, it will look at how climate change could contribute to existing marine and coastal security dynamics in function of the pathways that are taken considering a 2030-time horizon. To bring the different pieces of information together and allow for a narrative that is consistent with the latest insights, while at the same time being action-oriented it will be co-created with experts and those involved in policy formulation, in particular with relevant interlocutors within the Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Member States, INGOs, private sector as well as within the UN system. This will result in a set of scenarios, highlighting how mega trends such as climate change, catalysts and game-changers will result in different outcomes in function of the decisions and actions that are taken.

The Climate Security Mechanism (CSM), a joint DPPA-UNDP-UNEP initiative, is determined to contribute to innovative approaches to policy and programming and will support this work through funds made available by the Federal Government of Germany. This work will be carried out in collaboration with the UN’s Environmental Advisor to Somalia and falls under the fourth pillar (sustainable natural resources management and climate adaptability/resilience) of the UN Office of the Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa’s Regional Prevention Strategy. In 2020 the UN Mission in Somalia recruited the first Climate Security Advisor for a political mission globally. This position attempts to mainstream the issues of climate security, bringing in the issues of climate risk and climate risk management. The mission is working across the UN to tackle conflict from a climate sensitive lens as well as driving mitigation and adaptation and making it more conflict sensitive. This research will link very closely to the work of the advisor and will help inform their work on the ground in Somalia.

The consultant will:

(i) outline a methodological proposal
(ii) perform a literature review and data synthesis
(iii) consults experts and stakeholders
(iv) organize a set of workshops to co-create a set of narrative scenarios
(v) produce a lessons learnt and scenarios report including visuals
(vi) present key results to stakeholders and actors involved in the process.

Qualifications/special skills

Competency: Proven capacity to analyse complex issues based on analysis of quantitative and qualitative data and to think out of the box. Outstanding listening skills, ability to reflect on one’s own biases. Familiarity with climate science.
Academic Qualifications: Master’s degree in political sciences, security studies, marine or marine fisheries science or another relevant field.
Experience: A minimum of 5 years of experience in areas of conflict, climate or other relevant field including a minimum of 2 years Somalia-related experience and understanding of the local institutions and regional dynamics. A minimum of two years research experience (more is desirable). Experience in carrying out consultative processes with a wide range of stakeholders. Experience with foresight methodologies is highly desirable.
Language: Fluent knowledge of oral and written English, excellent English redaction skills, knowledge of Somali language highly desirable.

Additional Information

The project manager will work closely with UNEP and be supported by UNSOM, CSM and the Office of the Special Envoy (OSE).

Key deliverables are as follows:

Methodological proposal: outline of approach including a clear strategy as how to draw policy and programme recommendations from the scenarios
Literature and analysis & synthesis of existing data
Expert and stakeholder consultation (interviews and focus group discussions) resulting in integration of consultations in the literature review
Workshop(s)’ outline, background document(s) for participants, selection of participants.
Organisation of the workshop(s) and workshop summary/ies.
Scenarios report: set of narrative what-if scenarios (including visuals) rooted in solid knowledge of the context and the current dynamics
Lessons learnt report: key take-aways from the entire process and recommendations for coastal and marine climate adaptation (1) and peacebuilding in Somalia and in the Horn of Africa emerging from the scenarios as well as suggestions for future research agenda
Presentation of process recommendations to key stakeholders. Feedback incorporated in the final version of the scenarios and lessons learnt report
Final report aggregating the previous deliverables and including executive summary and policy and programmatic recommendations

Payment will be output-based upon satisfactory and timely submission and approval of the deliverables.

A survey will be carried out to evaluate workshop participants’ experience, learnings and feedback from the process as the most important measure of successful performance of the work.

(1) With explicit consideration of implications for adaptation approaches that promote peace

No Fee