Climate Impact and Vulnerability: Somali youth are likely to be deeply concerned about the impacts of climate change on their country. Somalia is particularly vulnerable to climate-related challenges such as droughts, floods, and food insecurity. Somali youth may emphasize the need for urgent action to address these issues and mitigate the adverse effects of climate change on their communities.
Image source: Hassan Ali Elmi/AFP/Getty Images
A man carries a sack through floodwater in Beledweyne, central Somalia. Flash flooding in central Somalia has killed 22 people and affected over 450,000, the UN's humanitarian agency OCHA said.
Environmental Degradation and Natural Resource Management: Somali youth may express concerns about environmental degradation, including deforestation, land degradation, and loss of biodiversity. They may expect the COP28 conference to address sustainable natural resource management and conservation practices that can help protect their country's ecosystems and ensure the long-term sustainability of resources.
Livelihoods and Economic Opportunities: Somali youth may highlight the importance of sustainable economic development and job opportunities in the context of climate change. They may expect COP28 to focus on promoting green growth, renewable energy investments, and sustainable livelihood options that can create employment opportunities and improve socio-economic conditions in Somalia.
Image source: Sominvest.gov.so
Access to Clean Energy and Technology: Somali youth may express the need for increased access to clean energy technologies. They may advocate for support in adopting renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, and providing energy access in remote areas of Somalia.
Water Resource Management: Given Somalia's susceptibility to droughts and water scarcity, Somali youth may emphasize the importance of effective water resource management. They may expect COP28 to address sustainable water management practices, including water conservation, infrastructure development, and access to safe drinking water, to mitigate the impacts of climate change on water availability.
Youth Empowerment and Engagement: Somali youth are likely to stress the importance of youth involvement and empowerment in climate action. They may expect COP28 to create platforms for youth participation, representation, and leadership in decision-making processes. They may also advocate for resources and support to implement youth-led climate initiatives and projects in Somalia.
The priorities of Somali youth
Climate Resilience and Adaptation: Somali youth may prioritize actions and initiatives that enhance climate resilience and adaptation in their communities. They may seek support for implementing climate-resilient infrastructure, sustainable agriculture practices, water management systems, and early warning systems to better cope with climate-related challenges such as droughts, floods, and desertification.
Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development: Somali youth may prioritize the transition to renewable energy sources and advocate for increased access to clean energy technologies. They may expect COP28 to address the barriers to renewable energy adoption and promote sustainable development practices that can improve energy access, create job opportunities, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels in Somalia.
Climate Education and Awareness: Somali youth may prioritize climate change education and awareness initiatives. They may seek support for programs that promote climate literacy among young people and the wider population. They may also advocate for raising public awareness about the urgency of climate action.
Youth Empowerment and Engagement: Somali youth may prioritize meaningful youth participation, empowerment, and leadership in climate decision-making processes. They may seek opportunities to actively engage with policymakers, contribute to policy discussions, and have their voices heard. They may also advocate for the establishment of youth-led platforms and initiatives that enable them to drive climate action at the local, national, and international levels.
Image source: Somali Greenpeace Association. Workshop on building capacities of communities on how to initiate (self-mobilize) and/or engage with movements on climate justice, conducted by Somali Greenpeace Association in collaboration with Natural Justice .
Climate Justice and Equity: Somali youth may prioritize climate justice and equity in the global climate agenda. They may advocate for fair and just distribution of climate finance, technology transfer, and capacity-building support to address the specific needs and vulnerabilities of Somalia and other developing countries. They may also emphasize the importance of addressing the historical responsibility of developed nations in contributing to climate change.
International Cooperation and Partnerships: Somali youth may prioritize international cooperation and partnerships to tackle climate change. They may expect COP28 to foster collaboration between developed and developing nations, as well as facilitate knowledge exchange, technology transfer, and financial support to enhance climate action in Somalia. They may also seek opportunities to connect with youth organizations and climate activists from around the world to share experiences and best practices.
The expectations of Somali youth from the COP28
Ambitious Climate Commitments: Somali youth may expect COP28 to result in ambitious climate commitments from countries worldwide. They may hope for stronger emissions reduction targets, increased investment in renewable energy, and concrete actions to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. They may expect countries to step up their efforts to combat climate change and ensure a sustainable future.
Increased Climate Finance: Somali youth may expect COP28 to address the issue of climate finance and call for increased financial support for developing nations, including Somalia. They may want to see commitments from developed countries to provide adequate funding for climate adaptation and mitigation projects in vulnerable regions. They may also expect mechanisms to enhance transparency, accountability, and accessibility of climate finance.
Technology Transfer and Capacity Building: Somali youth may expect COP28 to facilitate technology transfer and capacity building to support climate action in Somalia. They may hope for partnerships and collaborations that enable the transfer of clean and sustainable technologies to help address climate challenges. They may also expect capacity building programs to enhance the knowledge and skills of Somali youth in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Youth Inclusion and Participation: Somali youth may expect COP28 to prioritize youth inclusion and meaningful participation in climate decision-making processes. They may hope for dedicated platforms and spaces that allow them to contribute their ideas, perspectives, and solutions to address climate change. They may also expect youth representation in official delegations and the integration of youth voices in policy discussions and negotiations.
Enhanced Climate Education and Awareness: Somali youth may expect COP28 to promote climate change education and awareness initiatives and community-based programs that enhance understanding of climate change and its impacts. They may expect COP28 to emphasize the importance of knowledge dissemination and public engagement.
Collaboration and Knowledge Exchange: Somali youth may expect COP28 to foster international collaboration and knowledge exchange. They may hope for opportunities to connect with youth from other countries, share experiences, and learn from successful climate initiatives. They may also expect COP28 to facilitate networking and partnerships that enable joint projects and initiatives aimed at addressing climate change.
Long-Term Funding Mechanisms: Somali youth may expect COP28 to establish long-term funding mechanisms for climate change adaptation and mitigation in Somalia. They may hope for the creation of sustainable financing mechanisms that provide predictable and adequate resources to support climate projects and initiatives. They may advocate for innovative financial instruments, public-private partnerships, and access to climate funds to ensure the long-term sustainability of climate action efforts.
Recognition and Support of Loss and Damage: Somali youth may expect COP28 to recognize loss and damage as a distinct and urgent issue that requires dedicated attention and support. They may hope for discussions that acknowledge the unique vulnerabilities of Somalia to climate change impacts, such as floods and droughts. They may advocate for the provision of financial, technical, and capacity-building support to address the loss and damage experienced by vulnerable communities in Somalia.
By Mohamed Abdullahi Hersi.
Executive Director, Save the Environment International. I ACT Peer Educator at International Renewable Energy Agency. Educationist. Environment, Climate Change and Development Educator.