The government of Somalia has called for international cooperation in halting the illegal export of charcoal from the country.
At the opening of a two-day conference on charcoal in Mogadishu, the Deputy Prime Minister, Mahdi Mohamed Guled, called for urgent action and support from the international community and countries that are importing charcoal from Somalia.
He reaffirmed the government's commitment to halting the illegal trade of charcoal and providing alternative livelihood and energy options.
The Regional Director of UN Environment, Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo mentioned regional partnership as key to stopping the unsustainable production, use and exportation of charcoal in Somalia.
She said the UN and its partners are supporting the Somali government to develop sound policy frameworks to support the ban and find alternatives to charcoal.
Participants at the event are expected to develop a concrete road map for action, including enforceable regional policies, to halt the charcoal trade as well as production and use within Somalia.
An estimated eight -point-two million trees were cut down for charcoal in Somalia between 2011 and last year, increasing land degradation, food insecurity and vulnerability to flooding and drought.