Global Climate Change Alliance in Mali

Global Climate Change Alliance in Mali

At a glance

Completed programmes
National Directorate for Water and Forests of the Min. of Environment and Sanitation (MEA), Min. of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
Countries involved
Total budget
6,22 M€
GCCA priority area(s)
Effects of climate change on the region

Climate change effects are increasingly felt in Mali, in the form of higher temperatures, reduced precipitation (when considered over the last three decades), and a moving desertification front. Extreme weather events, notably droughts and floods, may become more frequent or intense. Climate variability and change compound significant anthropogenic pressures on land, water and other natural resources. Combined pressures are resulting in natural resource degradation – a critical issue for a country in which a large share of the population is employed in the rural sector, and livelihoods are very dependent on natural resources.

Awareness of climate change and how it jeopardises development and poverty reduction objectives has been growing in Mali over the past years. It is felt the time has come for the country to move from awareness raising and political statements to the design and actual implementation of a coherent response to climate-related challenges.

GCCA's action programme
Geographical scope
Country groups
Initial GCCA/GCCA+ contribution
6,215,000.00 €
Specific objectives

Contribute to improvements in, and actual implementation of, climate change-related policies and strategies.

Key achievements

Institutional support component

  • The Environment and Sustainable Development Agency (AEDD) has officially been designated as the organisation in charge of coordinating the national response to climate change.

  • Support has been provided to the setting up of the National Climate Change Committee, created in March 2011. The Committee comprises line ministry representatives, local communities, civil society organisations, and representatives from the private sector.

  • The national climate change policy and strategy documents were technically validated in the summer of 2011. The national climate change policy (NCCP) was validated by the Council of Ministers on October 2024. It will be scrutinised by the National Assembly in 2015.

  • Elements of the climate change policy and strategy have been integrated into the 2012-2017 Strategic Framework for Growth and Poverty Reduction.

  • Technical assistance is available to AEDD to support the implementation of the NCCP and the integration of climate-related considerations in sector planning processes.

  • Support is on-going to the Government of Mali for preparation for and participation in Conferences of the Parties to the UNFCCC.

  • The Malian Climate Fund is now operational. This fund was set up by Mali in partnership with UNDP and received its first contribution in late 2013 from Sweden. The Malian Climate Find launched its first call for proposals in March 2014. As a result, three projects were selected, one on sustainable agriculture, the second on land restoration and the third on solar energy..

  • A comic strip on climate change has been produced for use in schools. Other awareness-raising activities have been undertaken in the context of annual “environment fortnights”, since 2011.

  • Three regional workshops and exchange of information on REDD +, carbon credits and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) were held.

Forest inventory component

  • Data from forest inventories undertaken under an earlier programme have been consolidated, and a catalogue of forest species found in the Mopti, Timbuktu and Gao regions has been published.

  • New forest inventories were completed in the Kayes, Koulikoro, Sikasso et Ségou regions.

  • A methodology for municipal forest inventories was developed.

  • The status of wildfires is available online on the SIFOR website and is updated on a weekly basis.

  • A workshop on regional and national forest inventories was held, to sensitize all stakeholders on the existence this essential tool for forest monitoring.

SIFOR-related capacity building component

  • The software package SIFOR on data forest management, is now operational. Its objectives are to facilitate knowledge management, information dissemination and the monitoring of forest resources. Implementation of the SIFOR software benefitted from support from the Centre for Ecological Monitoring, based in Senegal.

  • The SIFOR training charter was validated in March 2012. Over 20 staff members of the National Directorate for Water and Forests have now received training in the use of geographical information systems (GIS), GPS-assisted geo-referencing and the use of automated data capture and positioning systems (tablets with integrated GPS).

  • A SIFOR website has been created:, and a roadmap for the SIFOR has been developed.

  • SIFOR was made operational notably after a support from the Centre for Ecological Monitoring (Centre de Suivi Ecologique) in Senegal.

  • Staff from the National Directorate for Water and Forests were trained in using the forestry inventory methodology.

Reforestation component

  • The AEDD has published guidelines for the development of local natural resource management agreements, for dissemination among local authorities.

  • Following a call for proposals, grant contracts have been signed for the implementation of 6 afforestation/reforestation projects in the Kayes, Ségou and Mopti regions:

    • Support to community-based forest management for climate change adaptation in the Djenne district (PAFAC project), implemented by the NGO AVDR.
    • Support to forest cover enhancement in the Bafoulabé and Kénieba districts, implemented by the NGO PACINDHA.
    • Community project for land cover restoration and carbon sequestration along the Niger River in the Ségou region, implemented by the NGO APROFEM.
    • “Greening Mopti”, implemented by the NGO SAHEL ECO.
    • Development of the value chain of the arabic gum in the Kayes region, implemented by the NGO AVSF.
    • Promotion of local initiatives for natural resource protection (PILPRN project), implemented by the NGO GAAS MALI.
  • A monitoring and evaluation method has been agreed with the NGOs in charge, and missions are under way to establish the baseline situation at reforestation sites. By the end of 2014 2,469 hectares were planted (out of 3,507 hectares foreseen for the end of the project) and 10.400  hectares were protected and regenerated (against an initial target of 9.250 hectares).

  • The data related to reforestation activities are used in SIFOR.

Main activities per result

The technical and institutional context supports ownership of the climate change issue by technical and political institutions. Organisations involved in climate change management have access to adequate decision support tools.

Activities include capacity building for the Ministry of Environment and Sanitation (MEA) to support the development of a national climate change policy; the development of a roadmap for the National Action Plan on Climate Change; and the development and implementation of a communication plan. In the future, support will also provided for mainstreaming climate change into the national environmental policy and regional development plans.

Mali’s forest stocks and carbon sequestration potential are known.

Activities involve capitalising on previous forest inventories; undertaking further forest inventories in the Kayes, Koulikoro, Sikasso and Ségou regions; and conducting studies on the carbon sequestration potential of various forest species.

The SIFOR (forest information system) management unit is able to produce reliable information on the evolution of forest stocks.

This notably involves finalising the SIFOR roadmap; training SIFOR regional staff; and setting up a consultation framework for the forestry sub-sector at central and decentralised levels. Improved knowledge and monitoring of forests is expected to contribute towards more sustainable forest management and participation in REDD+ or other funding opportunities linked to carbon sequestration in forests.

Forest cover is enhanced through afforestation/reforestation activities, with the help and involvement of beneficiaries.

Afforestation and reforestation projects, selected on the basis of a call for proposals, are implemented by non-governmental organisations in partnership with local authorities. The formalisation of woodfuel supply chains and the adoption of fuel-efficient stoves are also promoted.

Challenges and lessons learned (selected)
  • For such a project to move ahead, it is extremely important to have a supportive institutional context. In Mali, the government was very interested in the climate change issue because of its significant impact on agriculture, but there was no real national policy. The first actions undertaken under the project were thus the provision of support to a focal point on climate change, the establishment of various committees and support for drafting a national policy and strategy.

  • The Agency for the Environment and for Sustainable Development (AEDD), created in 2010, is expected to play a central role in coordinating actions related to climate change. In this context, the AEDD receives support from various donors to build its capacity and leadership in the field of climate change. Effective coordination among technical and financial partners is therefore essential. In Mali, this coordination is achieved through the donors’ technical group on Environment and Climate Change.

  • The operation of a sustainable national forest information system requires, beyond its development and installation, adequate and continuous technical support. Lack of maintenance and lack of qualified staff within the SIFOR unit and more generally in Mali have so far prevented the SIFOR from fully realising its objectives. Actions are now under way to address these issues, including the provision of external technical expertise to train and support SIFOR staff.

  • The use of local NGOs for the actions of local reforestation has the advantage of fostering ownership among target communities. To improve complementarity between the different stakeholders, the GCCA is putting together regional cooperation frameworks that promote the sharing of information between different stakeholders working in forestry.

  • In general, environment-related data is missing. This lack of data does not allow projects to assess their impact on the environment. Several donors have supported the government in establishing environmental databases (including the GCCA with SIFOR-Mali), but these remain mostly as individual actions that are not necessarily connected together. The problem is regularly raised and technical and financial partners of the donor led “Thematic Group on Environment and Climate Change” have decided to include this in their work plan and dialogue with the Malian government in 2015.

Way forward (selected)

Institutional support component

  • Regional information workshops and exchange will continue, on REDD +, carbon credits and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Their aim is to improve the integration of climate change into the different planning tools used by the government.

  • Continued support for the AEDD through the institutional support component of the programme.

  • Continued capacity building to officials in charge of climate change in the following areas: Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), voluntary carbon market, reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).

  • Production of a documentary on reforestation projects implemented by NGOs.

  • Contribution to the organisation of the National Conference of Water and Forests, which will focus on "improving the canopy strategy".

  • Implementation of a programme funded exercise to draw lessons learned for possible future programmes. 

Forest inventory component

  • Creation and publication of the directory of forest species in Kayes, Koulikoro, Ségou and Sikasso;

  • Creation and publication of the operating balance concerning the forest resources in Kayes, Koulikoro, Ségou and Sikasso;

  • Completion of communal forest inventories in 28 towns;

  • Dissemination and utilisation of results from the municipal inventories.

SIFOR-related capacity building component

  • Based on recommendations from the project’s mid-term review, technical support is being provided to the SIFOR management unit to diagnose and resolve a number of GIS-related issues, and thus make it fully operational. This support will be provided with a focus on reforestation data collection and analysis. The data will reflect the activity from NGOs and of reforestation campaigns.

  • To support the SIFOR’s financial sustainability, options for the delivery of services to other entities will be examined.

Reforestation component

  • Support to the coordination framework for the forestry sub-sector and climate change in Ségou.

  • Periodic monitoring of field achievements made by NGOs.

  • Establishment of municipal development plans for the improvement of forest cover in Kayes and Ségou.


“Climate change is a potentially significant threat to Mali’s socioeconomic and cultural development and to poverty reduction. It requires a global response supported by national policies as well as the promotion of changes in behaviour at the individual and collective levels.”

Mr David SAGARA, Minister of Environment and Sanitation, in a speech delivered at the opening ceremony of the 1st session of the project’s National Steering Committee, 19 November 2012 (source: