The Stability/Sustainability Dynamics: The Case of Marine Environmental Management in Somalia
Farah, Qasim Hersi
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Since January 1991, Somalia has been a war-torn society without law and order machinery. After a decade of chaos, in January 2001, an interim government formed in Djibouti was brought to Mogadishu, albeit it failed to function. Two similar others followed; one in 2004 and the other in 2007. In 2012, a federal government was elected by 275 members of parliament, but it is yet to govern most of the countrys regions. Consequently, over 25 years, there has been sociopolitical and economic instability which jeopardised Somalias environment and security (land and marine). Now, who are the actors of socio-political and economic instability, and can marine sustainability be achieved in the absence of stability? This doctoral study identifies, defines, examines and analyzes each of the state and non-state actors/networks operating in Somalia, at the international, regional, national, provincial, and local levels. I investigated who are they and what are their backgrounds/origins? What are their objectives and strategies? What are their capacities and economic status? What are their motives and manoeuvres? and what are their internal and external relationships? I categorised each one of them based on these scales: instability, potential stability or stability. I adopted a multi-dimensional approach which aims at tackling both marine environmental degradation and insecurity in the Somali basin, while establishing a community-based policy as a milestone for the formulation of a national/provincial policy. The study finds out that the competing multifaceted and multipurpose (economic, political or social gains) networks deliberately or inadvertently destroy the countrys environment and contribute to instability. Yet, in the countrys post-conflict situation, environmental traditional-based policy and socio-legal systems can be practiced at the grassroots level. I then proposed the roles to be played by individuals, local communities, provincials, and national, as well as regional, and international communities in the implementation of this bottom-up approach policy. While showing the relationship between environmental sustainability and sociopolitical stability, I argue that marine problems are borderless and as such, need global attention. I shed light on how war-torn states and post-conflict countries can establish vital means of environmental sustainability by applying community-based policy, implemented through self-help programs.