Supporting the National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change

Project description

Title: Supporting the national strategy for adaptation to climate change
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)
Country: Mali
Lead executing agency: Ministry for Environment, Sanitation and Sustainable Development
Overall term: 2014 to 2019


Like other countries in the Sahel, Mali is susceptible to climate variability and is suffering from the impacts of global climate change. According to forecasts, rainfall will fluctuate even more in the future and the frequency of extreme events such as drought or heavy rain will increase, as temperatures continue to rise. The poorest groups are harder hit by the impacts of climate change because they depend directly on natural resources for their livelihoods.

A detailed policy framework is in place for adapting to climate change but there has so far been little progress in implementing it. Local people are aware of the impacts of climate change but cannot access climate data or information on potential adaptation measures that would enable them to take better-informed decisions in the light of the actual situation. Governance in Mali is weak at present. This is causing international donors to hold back from investing in the national fund that was set up specifically for action on climate change. Available funding cannot be drawn down or is failing to reach the local level.


Vulnerable regions of Mali are more resilient to the impacts of climate change thanks to innovative, integrated approaches to climate change adaptation and improved resources and capacities among stakeholders.


The project works at various levels to improve effective dovetailing of the policy framework at national level with local planning and implementation of measures. National guidelines for planners and the inclusion of impacts caused by or affecting climate change in environmental assessments are laying the foundation for making development more climate-friendly. The project also supports Mali in key international processes within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, such as implementing nationally determined contributions to mitigation and the national plan for adapting to climate change.

With assistance from the project, new guidelines on development planning that also include the aspect of adaptation are to be trialled in 20 municipalities in four regions. The national guidelines’ practical application is being tested in three sectoral or national policies.

To improve funding for adaptation measures, the Mali Climate Fund is receiving support in developing a strategic investment plan. The project is also supporting potential executing agencies in formulating and submitting their ideas to national and international funds. Cross-sectoral dialogue is being conducted to help ensure that adaptation to climate change has a permanent place in ministerial budgets.

Another important aspect of the project is its support for decentralised local authorities in planning, implementing and monitoring adaptation measures. To broaden the impact of this, training is being provided for the advisory services at various ministries to enable them to advise the local population on adaptation measures.

The agreed targets for adaptation and mitigation cannot be achieved without additional commitment on the part of the private sector. By implementing pilot measures, the project is demonstrating to other actors that successful action can be taken. Documenting lessons learned on the ground in the project and publishing these for a national, regional and international audience contributes to wide dissemination of the innovative approaches used.

Results achieved so far

Mali submitted its intended nationally determined contribution (NDC) to climate change mitigation and adaptation in 2015. At the end of 2016, it became one of the first countries to join the NDC Partnership established by Morocco and Germany. This is a global climate coalition working to mobilise support – particularly for developing countries – for implementing the Paris Agreement. The process of planning national climate adaptation measures was launched in 2016 and an action plan has been adopted for implementation.