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Breaking the Climate Conflict Cycle in Galmudug, Somalia

Primary GCM Objectives

GCM Guiding Principles*

*All practices are to uphold the ten guiding principles of the GCM. This practice particularly exemplifies these listed principles.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)


2022 - 2023

Type of practice


Latest content



Sub Regions:


Bilcil, Ardo, Hobyo town, Duqaqo, as well as Afbarwaqo, Buqaloc and Qoryoweyne in Galmudug State, Somalia


The proposed project is designed to tackle the linkages at the core of the climate-conflict cycle in Galmudug, where ongoing reconciliation efforts under the ongoing Action “Daryeel: Stabilisation Support to Fragile Areas of Somalia II” financed by the former Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) and local governance efforts under related EU projects will benefit considerably from being anchored by an intervention designed to systematically incorporate environmental sustainability into both conflict resolution and governance models. Therefore, the proposed intervention in Galmudug State provides a unique opportunity to integrate EU-led engagement by mainstreaming environmentally conscious methodologies to break the climate-conflict cycle. Theory of Change: If target populations in Galmudug are provided with climate-adaptive awareness, techniques and capacity, and social and physical infrastructures are strengthened, then forced displacement and conflict due to environmental factors will be reduced, because negative coping strategies to environmental variability, which perpetuate the climate-conflict cycle, are replaced by sustainable alternatives and local conflict resolution mechanisms This project addresses the climate-conflict nexus in Somalia and seeks to (a) address and reverse the ‘multiplier effect’ that climate change has on violent conflict in specific regions of the country and (b) enhance the capacity of conflict- and displacement-affected communities to adapt to the negative effects of climate change. Main beneficiaries: - Women and girls - Local rural communities - Local governments The Deegaan Bile Galmudug project incorporates a gender perspective into the preparation, design, implementation, and the monitoring and evaluation plan, with a view of promoting equality between women and men, as well as to combat discrimination. Outcome 4 of the project: Women in target communities in Galmudug State have enhanced agency to address conflict and increased resilience to climate change through participation in natural resource governance, and its outputs, are solely devoted to women empowerment at both community and government level (Ministry of Women). A gender and community engagement national staff implements this outcome, as well as mainstreams gender across the two other outcomes. Further, the M&E team has a dedicated female colleague to monitor the progress of activities including a baseline, mid-line, and endline for each set of activities implemented per location.


Partner/Donor Organizations

United Nations Environment Programm - UNEP
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute - SIPRI
Galmudug State-Level Coordination - Ministry of Water, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Livestock, and Ministry of Women

Benefit and Impact

Communities in Galmudug State have improved ability to identify, develop, and reinforce inclusive, climate-sensitive, and environmentally sound natural resource management structures and dispute resolution mechanisms that inhibit the escalation of climate-induced violence. Activities include: Mobility Tracking Assessments, the establishment of a Transhumance Tracking Tool, and strengthening environmentally informed dispute resolution and natural resource management systems, and community-based planning of integrated packages.

Beneficiaries in Galmudug State have adopted climate-adaptive strategies and infrastructure to reduce local conflict over natural resources. Activities include: The design and construction or rehabilitation of ecologically viable ground- and surface water systems, the establishment and training of Water User Committee (WUC), and the establishment of climate change adaptation projects.

Beneficiaries in Galmudug State have internalized environmentally sustainable knowledge to promote rural resilience and mitigate tensions linked to resource competition. Activities include: Awareness raising, and capacity-building support is provided, based on a gender sensitive assessment of youth awareness, understanding, priorities and capacities to address environmental issues, climate risks, NRM and conflict.

Women beneficiaries in Galmudug State have enhanced agency to address conflict and increased resilience to climate change through participation in natural resource governance. Activities include: Capacitating the Galmudug Ministry of Women to mainstream climate-smart methodologies and coordinate the establishment of women-led Integrated Natural Resource Management Networks as well as contributing to women’s economic empowerment and resilience to climatic shocks, through the implementation of small, household level projects.

Key Lessons

Benefits of a Joint Team Approach: The success of the EU-funded Galmudug project highlights the advantages of collaborating across different units within an organization. In this case, the joint team approach involving MECC, DTM, and the community stabilization unit, along with the WASH team, facilitated a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach to address climate change, conflict, and displacement. This integrated approach allows for better resource utilization, expertise sharing, and more effective problem-solving.

Strategic Decisions in Narrow Geographic Area: Focusing on a narrow geographic area and working with one level of government counterpart proved to be a wise decision. This approach minimized coordination challenges and ensured that the project had the full attention of the chosen federal member state. Such strategic decisions can lead to more efficient program management and governance.

Environment-based activities require a careful blend of integration with livelihood activities to succeed and create pathways to adaptation and sustainability.

Collaboration with Partners: Working with partners like UNEP can enhance the project's impact by bringing in additional expertise and advisory support. However, it is essential to engage in tough negotiations and clarify each partner's role and contribution to ensure effective resource allocation and coordination.

Balancing Between Urban and Rural Focus: Considering the impact of climate change on urbanization, it is vital to strike a balance between working in urban and rural areas. While addressing rural areas is necessary to prevent massive migration, the project should also consider urban planning and work with municipal and federal governments to manage urbanization challenges effectively.

Recommendations(if the practice is to be replicated)

Strengthen Intra-Unit Collaboration: Lessons from the Galmudug project highlight the importance of fostering close collaboration among different IOM units. Regular coordination meetings between community stabilization, MECC, WASH, and DTM colleagues should be institutionalized to promote information sharing and a holistic approach to problem-solving.

Monitor Success and Adapt: Establish clear indicators to measure the success of project activities and continuously monitor and evaluate progress. This will enable adaptive management, ensuring the project remains responsive to evolving challenges and opportunities.

Foster Inclusive Community Engagement: Involving local communities and government counterparts in project design and implementation is crucial for long-term success and sustainability. Community-driven initiatives can better address local needs and build resilience against climate-induced conflicts.

Address Urbanization Challenges: Considering the profound impact of urbanization, explore opportunities to address urban challenges related to climate change and displacement. Partnerships with organizations like UN Habitat can strengthen efforts in urban planning and development.

Design Activities for Durable Solutions: While addressing IDPs in large urban areas is crucial, consider activities that also work in secondary and tertiary cities to provide sustainable solutions and prevent undue urbanization pressures.


The pilot project Breaking the Climate-Conflict Cycle in Galmudug, known as Deegaan Bile Galmudug, combines the expertise of three actors respectively focusing on the operational, technical, political and advocacy aspects of the project. IOM’s in-house multi-sectoral expertise on water, the environment, community stabilization, and migration data are collaborating to ensure that peacebuilding and recovery initiatives incorporate climate risk profiles and the ecological pressures facing target regions. UNEP’s policy acumen, best practice, and coordination bridges the gap between the technical and political. Lastly, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a global leader in the field of climate-security research, will analyse the program’s response to identify climate-related security risks, which will feed into advocacy initiatives to advance knowledge and policy on sustainable ecosystems and climate adaptive behaviour.


Addressing Climate Change and Conflict in Somalia - Deegaan Bile

Addressing Climate Change and Conflict in Somalia - Deegaan Bile

Date submitted:

29 September 2023

Disclaimer: The content of this practice reflects the views of the implementers and does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations, the United Nations Network on Migration, and its members.



*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).