Mapping of Agents of Change working on Resilience related to Environment and Climate Change challenges in Mali

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Sweden’s development work in Mali is guided by the strategy for development cooperation with Mali, 2004-2006, prolonged until 2015. This strategy has the overall aim to create opportunities for poor women and men to improve their livelihood conditions within three main cooperation areas: Pro-poor sustainable growth; Democratic governance and social development; and Sustainable development of the natural resource management sectors. A new proposal for a five -year cooperation strategy with Mali has been developed in 2014, currently awaiting government feedback and/or approval. It includes three main results areas: Democratic governance, gender and human rights; Natural resources, environment, climate and resilience; and Human security.
Mali is one of the most risk-exposed and vulnerable countries of the world, and many of the risks and crises are related to the quality and quantity of ecosystems and specific natural resources, air and water pollution, climate variability and change. To handle the challenges facing Mali and increase the resilience of vulnerable individuals and institutions their capacities needs to be enhanced. Contributing to address these resilience-related development challenges will most likely be a key priority area in the future Swedish Result Strategy for Mali. In addition, it is important in the Malian context to have specific focus on supporting the transition from emergency humanitarian efforts to medium and long-term sustainable development with local ownership. This is especially so since the most vulnerable often have difficulties benefitting from traditional development interventions.
For Sweden to support strengthening of the resilience of individuals, local communities and institutions in Mali it is critical with an awareness of all the various components from a risk and vulnerability perspective and to look at resilience at different levels from households to the national level. The chosen focus on resilience to environment and climate change challenges required particular understanding of different population groups’ vulnerability to weather related shocks and stresses including risks for ecosystems like fisheries or grazing lands to pass thresholds that dramatically could affect livelihoods. Understanding should also include what causes and drives these vulnerabilities and coping mechanisms and strategies to reduce risks and increase resilience.

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