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Forestry and the environment: Mali case study

by Portal Web Editor last modified Mar 01, 2013 06:45 PM
Contributors: Fessenden, Abbe, Duval, LeRoy, Kanoute, Alassane

Wood accounts for 95% of the energy needs in Mali and demand has more than doubled since the 1950s. This has created a dire need for forest conservation, which has been largely effected through central directives. Since government reforms occurred in 1991, USAID has played a role in promoting policy reform by encouraging decentralization of the Forest Service and by supporting specific projects, including the Village Reforestation Project and its reformed versions (VRP I and II), the Land Use Inventory Project, and the PVO Co-Financing Project. These projects focused on the development of woodlots to supply fuelwood, decentralization, capacity building, support of private voluntary organizations (PVOs), private as opposed to communal reforestation, and the integration of sustainable agriculture in woodlots. It was found that local people were interested woodlots when other species were included that make them economically rewarding. Community members increased their technical skills through these projects but still had reservations about participating because of the government's history of restricting forest use. The projects were hindered by the use of biologically inappropriate tree species. Also, it has been extremely difficult for the Malian Forest Service to be responsible for both enforcement and extension because local people have difficulty working with the people whom they perceive as fine collectors. Inadequate human and financial resources hindered progress of the project. Weak forestry extension limited the transfer of knowledge and techniques to community beneficiaries. In addition, there were conflicting viewpoints on policy reforms because bureaucratic stakeholders risked losing power with decentralization of the Forest Service. Local institutions were judged competent to effectively promote conservation. Stringent financial accountability requirements were found to inhibit local NGOs from receiving direct USAID funding and thus to eliminate this potential avenue for promoting CBNFM.

Author(s): Fessenden, Abbe , Duval, LeRoy , Kanoute, Alassane

Publication Date: 1994

Location: Mali

Download File from Portal: PNABS507 Mali.pdf — PDF document, 18 kB (19,330 bytes)

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