A report published on August 28 on MediaGlobal, a website featuring news on the developing world, claims the United Nation’s Security Council ban on charcoal trade in Somalia may have serious environmental consequences.
“Banning the charcoal trade and preventing imports in my opinion is not in the interest of the many Somalis who at this stage depend on the trade,” Webersik said in his exclusive interview with MediaGlobal.
Last year, the Security Council banned charcoal trade in Somalia in hopes of cutting off the money supply to al-Shabaab, a terrorist organization with links to Al-Qaeda.
Now, over a year and a half later, the lawlessness in Somalia means the charcoal industry is still thriving, but a lack of regulation is causing massive deforestation and according to a leaked United Nations document, more profits in the hands of organizations like al-Shabaab, the very organization that the United Nations hoped would be financially ruined by the ban.
The environmental consequences of the illicit charcoal trade are dire. With much of Somalia already turning into desert, cutting down trees destroys arable land resulting in smaller crop yields, more hunger, and a nation literally turned from forestland to sand dune.
"If the deforestation continues at this pace, this country will be a desert in two or three decades," Ahmed Ibrahim Awale of the Candlelight organization said.
The deforestation of Somalia also has worldwide consequences. Cutting down trees and not replanting them is one of the main contributors to global warming, a serious threat to building a sustainable future for the entire planet.