This is a project designed to address the downward spiral of deforestation, land degradation and food insecurity in the Mopti district of Mali and will benefit almost 28,000 people living in 29 villages in the 4 communes of Konna, Borondougou, Koubaye and Ouro Modi.
Climate change is having a big impact on people in the Sahel region, making rainfall patterns much less predictable and with increasing periods of drought resulting in falling crop yields or crops failing completely, which has led to food insecurity.
Trees are essential for building up resistance to climate change by protecting local ecosystems and rainfall patterns. Trees restore soil fertility and provide essential shade in areas with extremely high temperatures. Trees also provide important food and medicines that can improve both health and livelihoods.
ITF has been working with Sahel Eco on a successful “regreening” project in Sokura, Mali and Trees 4 Livelihoods will build on its success and the experiences gained from it. ITF will be working with Sahel Eco and local communities in the Mopti district of Mali so they can strengthen their traditional knowledge, skills and capacity to manage agricultural land and forest resources more sustainably and productively. The Big Lottery Fund grant will provide £475,702 towards this project over four years, and ITF will provide £50,000 from its Drylands fund.
International Tree Foundation chairman Mike Turnbull commented: “The BLF’s decision to support this important project is a great endorsement of ITF’s work and of the commitment of our development partner Sahel Eco and the local villagers – particularly in view of the recent instability from which Mali is hopefully beginning to emerge”.
Sahel Eco Director, Mary Allen Ballo commented “Coming so soon after recent events in Mali, the news of BLF support for this project is a tremendous morale boost for everyone involved here and not least for local villagers as they face their normal battle, to grow food and earn a living in the harsh climate of the Sahel.”