Mali mayors take climate classes to fend off desertification | Global Ideas | DW | 03.12.2019

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Global Ideas

Mali mayors take climate classes to fend off desertification

As Mali gets hotter and drier, local mayors and lawmakers are learning how they can teach others how to adapt to climate change.

Watch video 06:13

Mali: A local mayor fights climate change

Project goal: To inform people of ways they can adapt to climate change by training decision-makers at various levels — including mayors and local political representatives — to pass on their knowledge.

Project scope: So far, 3,500 mayors and politicians have been trained, 65% of them women. A total of 12,000 will be trained if the project is refinanced.

Project size: Regions of Mali hit by climate change.

Budget: The training programs are part of a wider climate adaptation project in Mali that is partly funded by the German Environment Ministry (BMU) with €3,150,000 in the framework of its International Climate Initiative (IKI) . 

A decade ago, Fana in southern Mali was surrounded by fields of rice. Now it's so dry, only millet will grow.

Climate change has meant the rainy seasons are no longer wet enough , and logging is exacerbating the problem. Without trees to anchor the soil, the desert is spreading, says the community's mayor Abdoulaye Coulibaly.

Coulibaly is worried what the future will hold. But with knowledge from a training program aimed at helping community leaders to inform others about adapting to climate change, he hopes he can convince locals to protect trees and use greener farming methods.

A film by Jürgen Schneider

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