5

Berbera Land and Environment Management Forum and Workshop

Berbera Land and Environment Management Forum and Workshop
The Social reconciliation pillar team of Academy for Peace and Development (APD) held a successful ‘Land and Environment management” consultation/forum and two days workshop in Berbera, as one of the preparatory steps of the up-coming ” Land and Environment Management Conference” However, during the presence of the research team of the Academy, the team has meetings with diverse groups from the Berbera community including regional and district authorities, an in depth symposium on Saahil region existing situation based on land-disputed, social, peace and stability, Aim was to know what trends occurred during the past decade in the district and in the region in general, however, in the discussion the people have mentioned out current situation of the Saahil region particularly the recurrent-land conflicting which they consider is the main factor :
During the three days consultation meetings and workshop which held at Barwaaqo- Hotel in Berbera during December 23-25-December, 2014; about 100 participants, including the Governor of the Saahil region, Berbera, Mandheera, and Hagal elected Mayors, regional representative of government ministries, traditional elders, women, youth, land enclosure owners, farmers, land-dealers, and representatives of local and international non-governmental organizations and a wide array of other distinguished guest discussed about the most suitable land utilization methods; and the ever-increasing land dispute, which is a threat to the Somaliland stability. The Social reconciliation pillar team , Omar Aden Yusuf opened the forum and the workshop with initial remarks on “Improving the land and natural resource based disputes solution mechanism”, which is APD’s major priority. Such consultation meetings, forums, focus group discussion, and workshops will take place throughout Somaliland to address this peace threatening issue, according to Mr. Yusuf. encouraged the participants to voice their opinions to look for solution through participatory action research (PAR) to pave the way to prepare for a monumental conference on land management”, said Omar. In addition, to offering an open forum to discuss the way forward, the consultation forum and the workshop gave a space for government and the wider public to engage in frank dialogue on the Same as the one day consultation meeting prior to the two days, workshop resumed with fierce debates and discussion amongst the participants; and finally, the social reconciliation pillar researcher team presented a proposed social agreement to the participants as solution to these obstacles and challenges identified by the social reconciliation pillar collected during the pillar mapping exercise and several other peace-building research activities.
The participants added input and debated the points of the proposed social agreement. After intensive discussions, and some slight alterations, all the participants unanimously voted for the proposed social agreement, and signed it as social contract. Finally, the regional governor closed the two days workshop by re-iterating the need to converge on the issue; “ We must continue regional dialogue to contribute to the up-coming nation-wide conference which we will hosting right here in Berbera ”.
The governor of the Saahil region, Fahmi Abdi Bidaar , also spoke at the workshop; where he emphasized the necessity of regional and national co-ordination on this major challenge to peace and stability.
Finally this three days workshops and forums were ended successfully, -and 50 traditional elders, respectful intellectuals, land owners and brokers, and regional authorities signed APD proposed social agreement, when discussed and local contributions incorporated.