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Somaliland Environmental Laws



Somaliland Constitution:

Article 18: The Environment and the Relief of Disaster

1.  The state shall give a special priority to the protection and safeguarding of the environment, which is essential for the well being of the society, and to the care of the natural resources.  Therefore, the care of and (the combating of) the damage to the environment shall be determined by law.

2.  The state shall undertake relief in disasters such as famine, storms, epidemics, earthquakes, and war.

Somaliland Laws Dealing with the Environment:


  • National Environment Research and Disaster-preparedness (NERAD) Agency Law – Law No: 35 of 2006 (passed by both Houses in 2007) (in Somali)
  • Law on the Prevention of Deforestation & Desertification (Law N: 04/1998) (in Somali)
  • Ministerial Programme on marine reserves and conservation April 2004 (in Somali)
  • Law on Fauna (Hunting) and Forest Conservation (Law No. 15 of 25/1/1969)  (in English)- This is the last pre-dictatorship law which dealt comprehensively with various issues relating to conservation

Somaliland’s International Commitments to date:

According to UNEPA, the Somali Republic has signed a number of important international conventions relating to natural resource use and management, including:

  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES);
  • Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals;
  • Regional Convention for the Conservation of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden Environment;
  • Protocol concerning Regional Co-operation in Combating Pollution by Oil and other Harmful Substance in Cases of Emergency;
  • UN Convention on the Law of the Sea;
  • Protocol concerning Protected Areas and Wild Fauna and Flora in the Eastern Africa region;
  • Protocol concerning Co-operation on Combating Marine Pollution in cases of Emergency in the Eastern African region; and
  • Convention for the protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern Africa Region (Nairobi Convention).

The Somali Republic has also signed but has so far  ratified the following international and regional agreements these:

  • Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water;
  • Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies;
  • African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources;
  • Bamako Convention on the Ban of the Import into Africa and the Control of Transboundary Movement and Management of Hazardous Wastes within Africa; and
  • Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community.

See: The State of the Environment in Somalia - A desk Study UNEP, Dec 2005: Large pdf File

This study recommends immediate action such as:

  • proper management of waste, including effective containment and/or clean-up of all remaining stocks of pesticides in the country;
  • institutional development and strengthening;
  • control of soil erosion;
  • fisheries management including taking measures against illegal fishing by foreign vessels;
  • improved and controlled charcoal production;
  • conducting field-based environmental assessments to inform future decision making; and
  • improving national disaster preparedness and response capacity.

It also Recommends interventions for medium-term action, such as:

  • reclaiming the protected area network;
  • protection of marine resources;
  • sustainable management of forest and woodland resources; and
  • development of an adequate policy and legal framework for environmental management.”



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