Sustainable land management in “Somaliland”, Somalia

Project description

Title: Sustainable land management in “Somaliland”, Somalia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Somalia
Lead executing agency: Ministry of National Planning and Development
Overall term: 2015 to 2021


In the autonomous region of “Somaliland”, around 85 per cent of the population make a living from livestock farming, either exclusively (pastoral) or in combination with arable farming (agropastoral). According to estimates, however, only 3 per cent of land is used for crop growing, while a further 7 per cent is potentially arable. This basis for the people’s livelihoods is under threat from the impact of climate change: each year, around 10 tonnes of fertile soil is lost per hectare as a result of erosion by wind and water. The civil war, which has afflicted the country for over 20 years, renders previous regulations on land use invalid. The pressure on natural resources is rising steadily in line with population growth and due to the resettlement of returning refugees and internally displaced persons.

In the water catchment area of Togga Biji, one of the principal sources supplying water to the capital Hargeisa, the risks associated with unsustainable land use are also becoming evident. The overuse and degradation of natural habitats, loss of biodiversity and impairment of ecosystem services are having a dramatic effect on livestock farming and pose a threat to livelihoods among the pastoral population in particular. Moreover, drinking water provision in Hargeisa is being compromised as a result of dwindling water resources from the catchment area. Local and regional stakeholders have neither the equipment, the technical and institutional resources nor the capacity to meet these challenges by applying coordinated strategies.


Technical and regional authorities for agriculture, environment and water, as well as agropastoral farmers, clan elders and other relevant stakeholders are more effective in their efforts to improve sustainable land management in the Togga Biji water catchment area.


In order to reduce the manifold causes and negative effects of the overuse and degradation of the natural living spaces of the predominantly pastoral and agropastoral population, the project promotes an integrated concept to develop sustainable land management in the Togga Biji water catchment area.

The project improves the skills, resources and capacity of relevant stakeholders, including state partner organisations, municipal administrations, civil society, agropastoral farmers and others. This enables them to plan and implement coordinated measures geared to the sustainable use of natural resources such as soil, water, biodiversity and the environment.

Training courses, workshops and organisational development are carried out at local and regional level and supplemented with policy advisory services. The participatory process helps to avoid conflict between the various users of the natural resources, and fosters peaceful coexistence between population groups.

The project is active in the following areas:

  • Participatory land management
  • Promoting sustainable agriculture (rainfed farming)
  • Policy advising and developing skills, resources and capacity.