Mali Needs Agroecology and Knowledge Sharing to Mitigate Climate Change
Wrapped in a purple boubou (robe), Salou Moussa Maïga, 60, sits with his hands clasped between his knees and explains how climate change has fuelled violent conflict in Ansongo, Mali. As the president of a farming cooperative, he knows the cost of drought all too well. ‘The rain period has decreased considerably from years ago … we don’t have grass anymore,’ he told ISS Today. ‘Everything is naked.’
Devastating drought combined with unpredictably heavy rains has wiped out agricultural livelihoods, and has also affected traditional herders in the north.
As a result, pastoralists can’t feed their animals and are forced into the valleys where conflicts often arise with farmers over land and water. In response, efforts are underway to make these communities more resilient to worsening conditions and to prevent conflicts. Mali has been wracked by a civil conflict since rebel groups began a campaign to overthrow the government in 2012, but the growing violence between farmers and pastoralists has largely occurred separate from the national conflict.