Focusing on mitigation, adaptation, capacity building, lobbying and political dialogue
It has been well documented that Africa makes the lowest contribution to climate change, and yet suffers the worst consequences. Africa suffers more due to the multiple difficulties including poverty, limited access to energy, lack of or problems accessing water resources, and lack of diversification in economic activity. Mali is a Sahellian country, two thirds of which is desert. Average rainfall levels are decreasing year on year. It is the poor who are worst affected and whose livelihoods are the least resilient to the impacts of climate change.
Due to unpredictable yields, people often end up in a vicious cycle where they are trying to survive and at the same time destroying their environment. This is sometimes referred to as auto-adaptation, but it is done with a survival instinct rather than any long-term strategy. As they do not have money for buying fertilisers, they are forced to slash and burn techniques (see photo, right) to acquire fertile farming land. When the old farms are left alone, floods wash away the rest of the soil and bring it to the nearby rivers. The land becomes deserted and very difficult to regenerate. With reduced forest cover, the rains become less and people become reluctant for even planting their fields, as they are not confident that the rainfall will be enough for good yield. As they need cash money anyway, many are tempted to destroy the remaining forest and sell the wood, or to leave their villages and go to cities, neighbouring countries or even to Europe to look for a better living.
This is why MFC has felt the need to act, to start to address these real and immediate problems faced by Mali's rural poor. The projects implemented mostly focus on capacity building activities to allow for adaptation to the new climatic conditions, mitigation to reduce future Green House Gas emissions, and lobbying and political dialogue to create increased awareness of cliamte change issues, and the effects fo cliamte change on Mali's poor.
For an overview in French of all MFC's climate change project portfolio, click here.
Three of MFC's current initiatives are described below.
CDM Green Facility
In the frame of the Kyoto Protocol, adopted by the international community in 1997, flexible mechanisms to reduce green house gas (GHG) emissions have been foreseen. One of these is the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which allows industrialised countries to limit their GHG emissions by investing in projects that reduce emissions in developing countries, while contributing to sustainable development in these countries. This project is to facilitate the emergence of CDM projects by building capacity of project developers. It is financed by Danida, the Danish development agency. Project activities include organisation of workshops on the CDM, and provision of technical assistance to project developers in elaboration of CDM project documents.
For more information visit click on the links below:
Network of Malian civil society organisations working on climate change (RESO Climat Mali).
This network targets the sharing of information on climate change between Malian civil society organisations. The network has over 50 active members. The goals of RESO Climat-Mali include contributing to the increased knowledge of all actors on climate change; to lobby decision makers at the local, national and international levels on climate change issues, and to support its members in research on methods and means of adapting living conditions of populations to reach sustainable development.
The network is organised in 5 groups:
For more information click the links below:
Kyoto - Thnk global, act local
This is a project on community mangement of forest resources as a means of combating climate change, carried out in cooperation with ENDA Energie (Senegal), and University of Twente (Netherlands).
If you would like more information on MFC's climate change activities, please contact Pierre Demble at MFC. His email address is pierre.dembele*malifolkecenter.org (please replace the * with @).