MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
Somalia will next month host a two-day
international conference aimed at stopping illegal charcoal
trade in the Horn of Africa nation, organizers said Saturday.
The May 7-8
conference, which will bring together Somali environment experts
and international donor partners, will discuss ways of stopping
the illegal trade, unsustainable production and use of charcoal
in the country, said the UN Mission in Somalia.
government-led event therefore aims to urgently build alliances
amongst consumer countries and international and local experts
and donors,” the UN mission said.
conference is supported by the UN Development Program (UNDP), UN
Environment and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations (FAO).
Export of charcoal
from Somalia has been banned by a 2012 United Nations Security
Council resolution and the Somali government due to its
destructive effect on the environment, and its exacerbation of
conflict and humanitarian crises.
According to the UN,
8.2 million trees were cut down for charcoal in Somalia between
2011 and 2017, increasing land degradation and food insecurity,
and illegal trade in charcoal acts as major source of funding
for militias and terrorist groups such as al-Shabab.
A UN monitors’
report released late 2017 said Somali insurgents earn
approximately 10 million U.S. dollar annually from charcoal
smuggled to Asia through Somali ports.
The UN report said
this enables al-Shabab to finance its operations and undermines
counter-terrorism operations in the Horn of African nation.