Mali: Climate resilience
Widespread improvements in the quality of life of many of the world’s populations have gone together with increased demands on natural resources. The planet is struggling to keep up, with increases in the average global temperature and the frequency of extreme weather events transforming ecosystems worldwide. Moreover, climate change impacts the world’s vulnerable people the most, many of whom lack the resources to adapt to new climate realities.
Our role in addressing climate change is to enhance the resilience of the people vulnerable to a changing climate and environmental degradation by harnessing solutions that align with green growth and circular economy principles, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and sequestering/storing carbon. In the locations where we work, greenhouse gas emissions per person are significantly lower than the global average. Yet, many of these populations are disproportionately affected by the adverse effects of climate change. Our focus is, therefore, on high-quality adaptation programming with the integration of mitigation where appropriate.
Strengthening Resilience Through Improved Livelihoods for Vulnerable Agropastoral Households in the Western Sahel Zone, Mali
In recent years, this region has absorbed an influx of climate migrants forced to relocate from the north in search of work in farming, herding, or fishing. As a consequence of this internal movement, the population density has increased in the south, leading to more armed conflicts and a greater reliance on humanitarian assistance. Today, some 7.2 million people, or about 35 percent of the population, rely on aid to make ends meet. The percentage continues to grow.
Making matters worse, the situation is not expected to improve anytime soon, with rising temperatures and decreases in annual rainfall projected for years to come. As people continue to struggle to survive, armed conflicts will hamper Mali’s development, negatively impacting the economy and leading to food insecurity and poor nutrition.
For these reasons, People in Need (PIN), together with our partner, Welthungerhilfe, has been implementing a programme in Mali since 2019 aimed at building up people’s resilience to conflict and climate change. The objective is to improve access to farmland and water, and to manage these natural resources for long-term use. Over time, these stewardship efforts should lead to more fertile land and increased food production, and in turn, enhance people’s earning potential.
The project also focuses on avoiding food waste with better food processing techniques, improving nutrition, and securing reasonable prices for surplus produce. As food security and livelihoods are strengthened, the hope is that this will contribute to greater stability in the region and reduce rates of internal migration.