This profile provides an overview of climate risks in Mali, including how climate change will potentially impact four key sectors in the country: water, agriculture, human health, and ecosystems. The brief also includes an overview of historical and future climate trends in Mali, the policy context outlining existing climate risk strategies and plans, and a list of ongoing projects that focus on climate adaptation.
Nearly half of Mali’s population lives below the poverty line. When combined with the country’s geophysical characteristics, and pastoralist and agrarian based economy, it is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change and variability. Two-thirds of the country is located within the Sahara and Sahel, where rising temperatures and rainfall variability have contributed to a number of extreme events (drought and flooding), challenging household resilience and ability to move out of poverty. Dependence on rainfed and small scale subsistence farming make Mali particularly vulnerable to increased temperatures and rainfall variability which can impact crop yields, reduce fodder and grazing potential of pastoralists, all of which can contribute to increased malnutrition rates. Increased evaporation and reduced recharge rates in Mali’s aquifer system threaten water availability and quality, which in turn can lead to increased conflict between farmers and pastoralists and increased internal migration.