Decentralization of Natural Resource Management, Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony in Gardo, Puntland state of Somalia

The natural resource management (NRM) decentralization pilot project memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism and Gardo district witnessed by the Ministry of Interior of Puntland to decentralize NRM service delivery in Puntland.

Feature | 04 May 2015
The MoU provided a greater role to the districts to effectively plan and implement NRM interventions at local level. It also stipulated the provision of regular reports, including the utilization of funds by the Districts.

ILO- Joint Programme on Local Governance (JPLG) has supported and facilitated the bi-lateral discussions between the local governments and the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism to define and agree on the functions to be devolved to the local governments for improved service delivery and provided technical guidance to the entire process of managing the natural resources of Puntland.

The MoU opens a new window of opportunity for the local governments to play an active role in providing natural resources management service delivery in Puntland, an important milestone towards strengthening the linkage between the local governments and the Ministry, thereby moving towards more responsive and accountable local governance institutions.

This agreement clearly described the roles and responsibilities of the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism and Municipality of Gardo that will be undertaken during the pilot project implementation.

The pilot project budget breakdown was also attached in the MoU for easy reference, as well all the other necessary work plans.
The signing ceremony in Gardo district was attended by senior government officials from the cabinet, Members of Parliament, local government, elders, religious leaders and village chairmen of the district.

Delivering the opening remarks Najib Ahmed, the technical advisor for NRM decentralization, presented the overall NRM decentralization objectives, the progress so far as well the implementation modalities that the Ministry established. In addition to that, he explained Gardo 5 year NRM plans and the devolved roles and responsibilities that the district has to perform with the support from the ministries and the natural resource working group (NRMWG).

On the other hand, Najib described that their efforts are aimed in pursuit of the decentralisation policy embraced by the Government of Puntland and supported by the ILO- JPLG. At same time he assured the district that technical advisors from the Ministry of Environment will be available to mentor and support the district to implement the pilot project.

The MoU was signed by the Minister of Environment Wildlife and Tourism Hon. Guled Salah and the Mayor of Gardo Mohamed Said witnessed by the Ministry of Interior and Local Governments H.E Ahmed Elmi Cisman.

Hon. Guled stated, “The MoU that we have signed is to formalize the collaboration between the Ministry of Environment and Qardo District, a collaboration that began a long time ago and has proceeded smoothly and fruitfully. He added that the MoU signed will form the basis of a close and long-term partnership between ILO-JPLG, Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, NRMWG and the district.

Hon. Guled concluded by expressing that the signing was a big step for Gardo and Karkar community at large because it will facilitate the delivery of NRM services to the communities and ecosystems.

Gardo Mayor H.E Mohamed Saed-Hogamo assured their commitment to respect the signed MoU and as well deliver quality services as far as the NRM Decentralization is concerned. In addition, the mayor has stated that although the environmental challenges in the region are quit enormous and the allocated budget for decentralization may not seem to be enough, but assured that they will effectively implement the pilot projects and will try their level best to become a role model for the rest of districts in Puntland in the NRM service delivery.

The mayor also shared several success stories of their contributions towards environmental conservation and protection in Puntland and requested more support from the central Ministries since the environment is suffering from great environmental degradations such as charcoal burning and gully formations. Moreover, the conflict over natural resources is a key challenge which they handle on a daily basis together with the support from the religious and cultural leaders.