The majority of Mali’s regions are currently affected by violent conflict. At the same time, Mali’s climate is changing. This climate security risk brief outlines linkages between climate change and security in Mali and their implications for peace and stability.
The majority of Mali’s regions are currently affected by violent conflict. While attention currently focuses on violent conflict in the north and centre of the country, southern Mali also sees worrying levels of tension, which sometimes flare into violence. These dynamics are overlaid onto a reality of weak governance, corruption and extortion, vertical and horizontal inequalities, gendered power relations, social exclusion and marginalisation, entrenched poverty, food insecurity, human rights violations, inadequate basic services, and underdevelopment. These realities have exacerbated pre-existing tensions within and between communities, between generations, and between the citizen and state. They have led to a normalisation of violence, an increase in criminality and heightened insecurity, which has had differential impacts depending on age, gender, disability, ethnicity, and socio-economic status.
At the same time, Mali’s climate is changing. It is already experiencing increasing temperatures, significant inter-annual and decadal rainfall variability, and extreme weather events including droughts and floods. Populations have adapted to variability, for example through migration, livelihood diversification and involvement in the illicit trade. However, resilience is uneven: those subjected to political and economic marginalisation, including women and girls, are less able to adapt to, recover from and prepare for environmental and climate shocks. Moreover, the resilience that does exist is under strain as a result of conflict insensitive and inequitable government policies, decreasing social cohesion, and increasing conflict, insecurity and violence. Future projections predict even higher temperatures and rainfall variability in the future, which will have serious impacts on poverty and inequality levels, livelihood precarity, environmental degradation, biodiversity, food insecurity, and health.
This climate security risk brief outlines the following linkages between climate change and security in Mali and their implications for peace and stability:
It also presents the following entry points to addressing these climate security risks:
For a quick overview of Mali's climate-fragility risks, take a look at this two-pager factsheet: