07 December 2017

Mali’s Fertile Grounds for Conflict: Climate Change and Resource Stress

This policy brief analyses how local natural resource conflicts affect wider development and security dynamics in Mali. It argues that in order to manage the ripple-effects of local resource conflicts, there needs to be investment in conflict prevention, as well as understanding and addressing the twin impacts of population growth and climate change.

Local natural resource conflicts in Mali have spill-over effects, to other sectors, and to other regions. They are not always geographically contained and have the potential to increase the risk of conflict elsewhere. Yet, these conflicts and their impacts are often treated in isolation rather than being understood holistically. This policy brief first analyzes different local and regional resource-use conflicts, and their internal ripple effects in the context of Mali. It then investigates the pressures posed by population growth and climate change on resource-use and how these impact agricultural productivity and food security. Finally, the brief concludes with policy recommendations, arguing the case for conflict prevention and conflict-sensitive approaches to be integrated into all natural resource initiatives. This will help in better management of trade-offs, particularly around prioritizing certain natural-resource dependent livelihoods over others, or investing in certain regions over others.

Photo credits: Jessica Davis/Flickr