Marine and Coastal Resources Governance

Domestic Laws and Regulations

 Somali Fisheries Law (Law No. 23 of November 30, 1985)

This law states that the Ministry shall ensure that aquatic and coastal resources of Somalia are protected and managed properly in order to: a) ensure that the living resources are not endangered, and that they and their environment are protected while benefitting from them and b) ensure that those resources produce the optimum sustainable yield while taking into account relevant environment for economic, and social factors.

International Laws and Agreements to which Somalia is Party

Somalia has signed several important international conventions[1] relating to natural resource use and management, including:

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) 1975

CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (1983)

Also known as the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) or the Bonn Convention, this is an international agreement that aims to conserve terrestrial, aquatic and avian migratory species within their migratory ranges. The object of each agreement shall be to restore the migratory species concerned to a favorable conservation status or to maintain it in such a status.

Regional Convention for the Conservation of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden Environment (1985)

Also known as the Jeddah Convention and aims to conserve integrated ecosystems of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aqaba, Gulf of Suez, Suez Canal to its end on the Mediterranean. Countries signed to this convention undertake appropriate measures to conserve the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden environment, including prevent, abate and combat marine pollution from all sources (art. III).

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982)

Popularly known as UNCLOS, the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty, this international agreement defines the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to their use of the world’s oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources.

Convention for the protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern Africa Region (Nairobi Convention)

The Nairobi Convention—signed by Comoros, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania and the Republic of South Africa — provides a platform for governments, civil society, and the private sector to work together for the sustainable management and use of the marine and coastal environment.

Protocol concerning Protected Areas and Wild Fauna and Flora in the Eastern Africa region (1996)

This Protocol under the Nairobi Convention provides for the protection of threatened and endangered species of flora and fauna, and important natural habitats, in the Eastern African region. It provides a platform for the countries to protect rare or fragile ecosystems as well as rare, depleted, threatened or endangered species of wild fauna and flora and their habitats in the region.

Protocol concerning Co-operation on Combating Marine Pollution in cases of Emergency in the Eastern African region (1985)

The Protocol, agreed to under the Nairobi Convention, aims to provide a framework for coordinated response in major spillages of oil and other harmful substances in the convention area. The Protocol provides a platform for Parties to cooperate in undertaking all necessary measures for prevention and remedy of marine pollution incident, including development of legislation and contingency plans, and exchange of relevant information.

Protocol concerning Regional Co-operation in Combating Pollution by Oil and other Harmful Substance in Cases of Emergency (1982)

Signed by Somalia under the Regional Convention for the Conservation of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Environment, the protocol states that Contracting Parties undertake to cooperate in combating pollution by oil and other harmful substances and shall maintain and promote contingency plans (arts. II and X). Any contracting party needing assistance in a marine emergency may request it directly from any other contracting party.

[1] UNEP 1996. Register of International Treaties and other Agreements in the Field of Environment 1996. UNEP, Nairobi