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Mali

Mali is a landlocked West African country about twice the size of France, a country from which it got its independence in 1960. The population is made up of various ethnicities and lifestyles, following clear geographical and climatic boundaries. 


The Northern half of Mali belongs to the great Sahara desert. Timbuktu, the mythical gate of the desert, acts as the regional capital and former cultural capital of the blue desert nomads, Tuaregs. Its Mausoleum and ancient buildings are UNESCO World Heritage sites and have been rebuilt after the sack of the city by terrorist forces.


The region covered by Mali, before its colonisation between 1890 and 1960, was one of three major empires that ruled over trans-Saharan trade routes and access to the Niger river delta: the Ghana Empire, the Mali Empire and the Songhai Empire, making this area one of the oldest urban centres in humanity. 


In 2012, after years of stalled development, a coalition of nomadic Tuareg took to arms, seizing control of the Saharan and Sahelian parts of Mali and declaring their independence as a country called Azawad. Other armed groups such as Al-Qaeda in West Africa took this opportunity to impose Sharia Law and march further down towards the capital city of Bamako. 


This triggered a military intervention by France (supported by the UN) in January 2013 to push back the insurrection and re-establish the authority of the central government on the Malian territory. 


Internal and external trade routes and international exchanges have always shaped Mali. Since the 1980s, it has met a new challenge which has already changed how the country looks and its capabilities: climate change. 

TOTAL POPULATION

16.9 million YEAR 2014

CO2 EMISSIONS

1,400 kt COUNTRY, YEAR 2014

822,800 kt Sub-Saharan Africa, YEAR 2014

“Reducing emissions by 29% for agriculture, 31% for energy and 21% for forests and land use by 2030.” 

PARIS AGREEMENT TARGET

Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011

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CLIMATE SIGNIFICANCE

Mali faces numerous environmental challenges, including desertification, deforestation, soil erosion, and inadequate supplies of potable water. Most of Mali receives negligible rainfall and so droughts are very frequent. Mali is made up of 65% desert or semi-desert. The Sahel has always been climatically unstable and long periods of droughts have been recorded on thirst stones as far as in the 17th century. 

This region, where the population mostly depends on grazing lands for sheep herds, is forced to follow an oscillating pattern of precipitations that varies from severe droughts to relative abundance of rainfall. These vast grazing herds have been forced south towards more viable pasture occupied by other people for other purposes. 

This has caused Mali to depend on foreign aid and alimentary support to ensure that no famine like that of 2005, in which more than 2.2 million people were affected, is repeated. Agriculture represents roughly half of the country’s GDP and is the main activity of 80% of the active population. Analysts have pointed the causal links between the environmental crisis and the conflicts in the region.

The most realistic models project a general rise of 3°C in the territory and a 22% precipitation reduction by 2100. This calls for drastic adaptation and resilience investments. Yet, Mali as a country is responsible for just 0.03% of global greenhouse gas emissions. With its dense forest areas to the South, Mali is actually a carbon-negative country. 

This incredible differential between responsibility and consequence is in itself a call to action, to unity and to solidarity. Mali needs help so it can help the world to stability and fair lives for all.


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DATA INSIGHTS

Mali is classified as a low-income country by the World Bank. The history of carbon emissions and exposure to climate risk provides useful insights into Mali’ position in the fight against climate change. The following plots give an overview of Mali’s greenhouse gas emissions over time in perspective with global emission levels, as well as the country’s relative vulnerability and preparedness to climate change.

Mali's Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Mali's timeline of total GHG emissions and the percentage change from 1990

This plot combines 3 pieces of information measured from 1990 - 2012: The bar chart indicates the volume of the country’s GHG emissions, the dotted line shows the variation of this volume compared to the baseline 1990, and the full line presents the same variation, but globally.


Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and fluorocarbons are the main drivers of global warming. Between 1990 and 2012, the world’s emissions grew by 40%.


Between 1990 and 2008, Mali’s emissions rose by 182% (with an average annual increase of 10.1%), driven by the expansion of agricultural activities. The agriculture sector is responsible for the largest share (76%) of the country’s emissions due to manure left on pasture and manure applied to soils as a fertiliser for crop production. 


In 2012, Mali produced over 75,000 kilotonnes of CO2 eq. GHG emissions, which is more than five times that of neighbouring Mauritania and Niger. As the agriculture sector accounts for the majority of Mali’s emissions, it should be a key area of focus to reduce the country’s emissions. (Source: WRI, 2018; World Bank, 2018)


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Mali's Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Mali's timeline of total GHG emissions and the percentage change from 1990

graph

This plot combines 3 pieces of information measured from 1990 - 2012: The bar chart indicates the volume of the country’s GHG emissions, the dotted line shows the variation of this volume compared to the baseline 1990, and the full line presents the same variation, but globally.


Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and fluorocarbons are the main drivers of global warming. Between 1990 and 2012, the world’s emissions grew by 40%.


Between 1990 and 2008, Mali’s emissions rose by 182% (with an average annual increase of 10.1%), driven by the expansion of agricultural activities. The agriculture sector is responsible for the largest share (76%) of the country’s emissions due to manure left on pasture and manure applied to soils as a fertiliser for crop production. 


In 2012, Mali produced over 75,000 kilotonnes of CO2 eq. GHG emissions, which is more than five times that of neighbouring Mauritania and Niger. As the agriculture sector accounts for the majority of Mali’s emissions, it should be a key area of focus to reduce the country’s emissions. (Source: WRI, 2018; World Bank, 2018)


Mali Climate Vulnerability and Readiness (CVRI)

Mali’s vulnerability and readiness to combat climate change

This graph ranks a country’s climate performance by measuring its readiness (x-axis) and its vulnerability (y-axis). Both are measured from 0 - 1 (1 being the most ready or most vulnerable). This index combines indicators of a country’s exposure to climate change and others that measure the country’s potential to withstand those shocks. 


Each dot in this plot represents a country. The countries in most urgent situations are on the top left of the graph whilst the most resilient ones stand at the bottom right.


Mali is categorised as a country with high vulnerability to climate change impacts and a low level of adaptation capacity. Agricultural yields are forecasted to decline significantly under projected climate change. Climate change is expected to lead to declined rainfall that causes more extreme droughts, thereby threatening the water security of the country. To respond to climate-related disasters,  building the resilience and adaptive capacity of response systems is also essential in Mali. (Source: ND-GAIN, 2018)


The impacts of climate change vary by country and region. But wherever you are, local-level adaptation projects are necessary. You have all the cards in hand, now go explore our live projects and be one of the good guys.



TAKE ACTION

Mali Climate Vulnerability and Readiness (CVRI)

Mali’s vulnerability and readiness to combat climate change

graph

This graph ranks a country’s climate performance by measuring its readiness (x-axis) and its vulnerability (y-axis). Both are measured from 0 - 1 (1 being the most ready or most vulnerable). This index combines indicators of a country’s exposure to climate change and others that measure the country’s potential to withstand those shocks. 


Each dot in this plot represents a country. The countries in most urgent situations are on the top left of the graph whilst the most resilient ones stand at the bottom right.


Mali is categorised as a country with high vulnerability to climate change impacts and a low level of adaptation capacity. Agricultural yields are forecasted to decline significantly under projected climate change. Climate change is expected to lead to declined rainfall that causes more extreme droughts, thereby threatening the water security of the country. To respond to climate-related disasters,  building the resilience and adaptive capacity of response systems is also essential in Mali. (Source: ND-GAIN, 2018)


The impacts of climate change vary by country and region. But wherever you are, local-level adaptation projects are necessary. You have all the cards in hand, now go explore our live projects and be one of the good guys.



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