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Introducing a new Member of the ISC: Somali Natural Resource Research Center (SONRREC)

The SONRREC joined the ISC in 2021. In this brief interview, we hear more about the organization and its activities.

The Somali Natural Resource Research Center became an Affiliated Member of the ISC in January 2021. Abdullahi Hassan, the SONRREC Director of Strategic Partnerships, tells us more about the organization.

Please tell us about the Somali Natural Resource Research Center and its activities

The Somali Natural Resources Research Center (SONRREC) is a non-profit and independent research organization that was established in 2016 with the objective to manage, protect and shape the country’s natural resources in a sustainable manner by improving the economic well-being and eradicate poverty through evidence-based scientific research, capacity development and consultancy. The center was founded by a group of multi-disciplinary scientists with an overall objective of finding science-based solutions to development through actively participating and supporting achievements of the country’s vision and strategy on development as well as the regional and global agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

SONRREC’s scientists and researchers believe that Somalia’s natural resources are at the foundation of fundamental economic opportunity and nation well-being. However, without scientific research on natural resources management and development, Somalia could not or has a long way to go to utilize its natural resources for economic growth, employment opportunity, and the country’s well-being. SONRREC was founded to promote research development to respond to the lack of research on Somali’s natural resources and to mitigate the long-lasting problems to provide consultation services and effective research and training on the modern practice of natural resources for environmental sustainability and sustainable development. SONRREC was established to fill the gap in research on natural resources in the fields of

  • Agriculture,
  • Livestock,
  • Fisheries and marine resources,
  • Water resources,
  • Energy,
  • Petroleum and minerals, and
  • Environment.

SONRREC is a unique multi-disciplinary center of excellence in Somalia delivering high-quality scientific research, capacity development, and consultancy in support of Somalia’s food security, sustainable development, and poverty reduction with the dedications to promote natural resources and environmental protection in order to empower and improve livelihood conditions of the pastoral, agro-pastoral and coastal communities in Somalia through evidence-based solutions.

Why does SONRREC consider it valuable to be part of the ISC?

SONRREC and its members find great value in being part of the ISC family as our work is based on finding scientific-based solutions to the development. We are the sole organization working in Somalia for the management and development of natural resources, the Somali voice for science and we aim to connect society to science. We collaborate with both the government and private sector, as well as grass-root communities, and we hope that our contributions to the ISC will be of valuable to the entire ISC community.

What are your key priorities for the next few years? What do you see as the key priorities for science in the coming years?

SONRREC has a 5-year strategic plan which highlights key priority areas in the country and in line with the national strategies and national development plan of Somalia.  We have developed a science plan “Natural resources sustainability and ecosystem based-solution approach for the 2021 and beyond” which highlights our four interrelated scientific priorities and initiatives followed by the four other initiatives for implementations as follows:

1. Food and Technology:  Using human-centred design approaches to identify new technologies that can help farmers and fisheries manage their production and productivity in a sustainable manner 

2. Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus: Building and organizing a group of scientific experts investigating the linkage between water, energy and food security in Somalia. 

3. Sea and Society: Assess and understand the complexity of the marine ecosystem and biodiversity for sustainable resource exploitation in Somalia’s coastal communities.

4. Human & Nature: Measure and project the effects of human activities on ecosystems and ecosystem services to clarify the present and future status of natural and social systems.

Implementing the projects outlined in our 2019 – 2021 Action Plan will highly depend on close collaboration with our Members. Are there any projects that you are particularly interested and/or considering to get involved in?

SONRREC would like to be part of the following key issues as we are already focusing on some of the key issues prioritized in the Action Plan:

1. Domain One: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – SONRREC is implementing directly some of the key SDGs articles and indirectly all SDGs as we focus on both social and natural issues.

2. Domain Three: Science in Policy and Public Discourse – SONRREC’s main aim includes finding science-based solutions to development by producing policy briefs and other supporting documents. 

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