25 April 2018, Borama, Somaliland. The University of Amoud, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), has launched a first of its kind Master Programme in Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability, with thirty students from Somaliland, Puntland, Jubaland, Galmudug, South West, Hirshabelle, and Mogadishu awarded full and part time sponsorships by UNDP and Amoud University to study in the programme.
It is expected the year and a half long postgraduate degree will train a cadre of young professional environmental experts to address issues such as scarcity of water and land degradation, which in turn can help build resilience to drought, flooding, and other climate change related events. It is aimed that the young professionals can then take positions in environmental and government institutions, contributing increased knowledge to the area of environmental sustainability and resource management. In bringing together young people from Somaliland, Puntland, Jubaland, Galmudug, South West, Hirshabelle, and Mogadishu, the Programme aims to also contribute to cohesion and dialogue on environmental issues, supported by technical expertise from UNDP and other United Nations Agencies.
The Director General of the Ministry of the Environment and Rural Development, Dr. Abdirizak Jama, speaking at the opening ceremony, thanked UNDP and the Global Environment Facility for their support and highlighted the contribution the students will make in evaluating environmental impact and sustainability. “The challenges arising from climate change need to be understood, particularly in our context, and we need to find proper ways to address them through adaptation and mitigation,” he said.
The President of Amoud University, Professor Suleiman Ahmed Guled, underscored the importance of knowledge in addressing climate change. “Knowledge is a commodity – there are a lot of challenges in the world and climate change is one of the largest. The students starting here today will be pioneers, and we will ensure that the programme is sustainable,” he said.
Ms. Ilaria Carpen, Head of Hargeisa Area Office, United Nations Development Programme, reiterated that the students attending the Master programme are leading the way. “Climate change is a reality. We rely on you, we are full of hope, that from this programme you will provide the technical expertise to address issues relating to climate change. UNDP is investing in youth because we know that young people like you can come up with new inventions and new ways to address issues affecting the environment,” she said.
The students attending the Master Programme are expected to graduate in September/October 2019.