We work in Somaliland, the country that lies along the south side of the Gulf of Aden. Somaliland has functioned as an independent country since 1991. Despite lacking international recognition, it is a peaceful country with a democratic government, its own currency, and a developing economy. Its history stretches back thousands of years and is recorded in petroglyphs and artefacts as well as oral tradition. Biologically, it is a land of diverse ecosystems that include deserts, savannahs, and forests. Because it lies at the junction of the Afromontane and Arabian biodiversity hotspots, it is home to species from both these biogeographic regions as well as having many species known only from Somaliland. What is known about Somaliland’s biodiversity comes primarily from studies by foreign scientists because there have never been formal programs in Somaliland for developing the knowledge and skill required for studying biodiversity. We aim to change that.