How to stop deforestation in Mali?

According to Malian Agency for Domestic Energy and Rural Electrification Development (AMADER), the wood energy consumption is a handicap for the natural resource sustainable management in Mali. Malian population consumes more than 6.5 million tones of fuel wood per year. Only Bamako city consumes more than 600 000 tones. This consumption is increasing by 2% per year for firewood and 15-20% for charcoal. This trend will continue increasing because the transition government removed the subsidy which allowed many families to use butane gas. Now the price of the 6kg bottle spent from 2000 to 3500 CFA (€ 3.04 to 5.33). This is too much for most of Malian families which returned to charcoal consumption.

Coal is a real problem since cities tend to consume more coal than wood. Mali annually loses 500,000 hectares of forest because of logging, including 400 000 hectares for only fuel wood and 100,000 hectares for agricultural clearings.

AMADER made ​​ trends projection for 2025 which are quite disturbing. These studies have shown negative balance between timber production and harvesting at the national level. Annual wood consumption per hectare per capita is 1.3 cubic meters while forest production is 0.5 to 0.7 cubic meters.

In this context I filmed two organizations carrying out actions to stop deforestation by combining logging and tree planting. These are French NGO “PLANETE URGENCE” working in  Mopti area and the Dutch company “NOTS” which operates  in  Bamako area. They also introduced in Mali two types of ovens producing better quality coal and burning less wood.  They are  the Adams oven and the so-called “Meule Casamansaise” . In 2012 “PLANETE URGENCE” planted 30,000 trees and NOTS planted 40,000 ones. In the medium term these organizations aim to use only the planted trees for the charcoal production, this will help to conserve natural forests.

Currently, I am editing a story about these two experiences.


2 Responses to “How to stop deforestation in Mali?”

  • Hi Mamadou, great story. I’d love it you could also meet my Sahel Eco colleagues in Mopti and visit some of the farmers they work with who are actively managing naturally regenerating trees to restore tree cover to their fields. By using this low cost technique alongside tree planting the get even more benefits and not just in terms of sustainable wood production. The trees also help to protect their crops and soils from erosion and can help to restore and maintain soil fertility. Sahel Eco is a partner of VU Amsterdam and member of the Africa Regreening Initiatives movement

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