PRESS RELEASE: ICE Institute is Offically Luanched

On 6th November 2023, at a very colourful launching ceremony hosted by SIMAD University, The Institute of Climate and Environment (ICE Institute) was unveiled with the presence of senior officials from the office of the President of Somalia, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Ministry of Planning, investment and economic development and development organizations.

Somalia is facing an unprecedented climate and ecological crisis, disrupting people’s lives and nature. The country is already experiencing severe and frequent drought cycles, locust evasion, floods, rainfall shortages, and many others that are threatening millions of lives and livelihoods. If business as usual continues, a more serious and negatively impactful consequence will be apparent. These ecological predicaments demand our collective attention; hence, extraordinary actions are paramount. In addition, there is a dearth of data and evidence-based research that facilitate informed decisions at this critical time, when ecological systems are challenged more than ever.

Considering the foregoing, the ICE Institute was unveiled to serve as the leading research and policy action institute to inform and support tackling the climate crisis in Somalia. Addressing environmental issues requires a concerted effort from both the government and the private sector. The ICE Institute is committed to fostering partnerships and innovative solutions to mitigate the impact of climate change and promote sustainable development in the region. Besides, we are committed to taking bold steps to contribute to awareness building on climate change and biodiversity, conduct rigorous action research, and convene policy engagement and partnerships. As part of our strategic plans and vision for the future, we will act as catalysts to support just transition, climate resilience, and climate adaptation by supporting the implementation of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) in Somalia.

The establishment of the ICE Institute builds on more than two decades of experience since the inception of SIMAD University in 1999 and will keep focused on offering people and planet solutions to contribute to building a resilient and sustainable Somalia where people and nature sustainably thrive. As part of the university’s social responsibility, we are committed to contributing to the national initiative of Greener Somalia and the international endeavours to combat the negative consequences of climate change through cutting-edge research and policy engagements.

During the event, numerous keynote speeches were delivered by the senior officials. They all emphasized the need for concerted efforts by various stakeholders in the fight Against climate change in Somalia.

The rector of SIMAD University, Dr Dahir Hassan Arab delivered a keynote speech in which he justified the establishment of the institute as a noble contribution to the university’s commitment to the realization of National Development Plan 9 and Sustainable Development Goals in Somalia. In his remarks, the Rector asserted “Building a climate resilient, sustainable, and green Somalia requires collective contribution from different stakeholders, including academia, and that is why we established the ICE Institute to generate evidence, ideas, and innovative solutions to compact climate change in Somalia.”

Speaking of diverse stakeholder engagement in the fight against of climate change, environmental degradation and biodiversity loss in Somalia, key officials from the government, civil society organizations and the private sector also spoke at the ceremony with insightful reflections. The Deputy Minister of Environment and Climate Change of the Federal Government of Somalia who was the guest honour of the event stressed “We welcome the launch of the ICE Institute, and the institute will be the place where we come together for collaboration and discussion for all stakeholders. “

Apart from the core objective of conducting reliable research in Somalia and beyond, the ICE Institute will also work on several other areas. Firstly, we will raise awareness about climate change and its impacts on the population by organizing workshops, seminars, and public campaigns to educate and engage communities. Secondly, the ICE Institute will partner with local stakeholders to implement climate resilience strategies, such as sustainable agriculture, water management, and disaster preparedness, to help communities adapt to a changing climate. Thirdly, the ICE Institute will collaborate with local and national governments to advocate for stronger climate policies, emphasizing the importance of reducing the huge deforestation and unsustainable practices that exacerbate the harsh effects of droughts in Somalia. Fourthly, the work of the ICE Institute will support restoring and protecting critical ecosystems in Somalia, such as mangroves and forests, which play a crucial role in carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation.

ICE Institute is actively seeking partnerships with governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, businesses, and international bodies to make a significant impact in the region. Drawing inspiration from the national and global conventions as well as declarations including the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), National Development Plan 9, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, we put a motion on our mission to support building a climate resilient, thriving, sustainable, and green Somalia. ICE Institute is to make a marked contribution in the years ahead towards social, environmental justice, and sustainable development in Somalia and beyond.