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Mali - Country Profile

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Status and Trends of Biodiversity


Located in the south of the Sahara Desert, Mali is characterized by high temperatures and generally low rains (1200mm in the south and almost 0mm in the north of the country). The presence of large rivers like the Niger and the Senegal, as well as mountain massifs and other types of ecosystems, accounts for the existence of various biological activities. The country has identified 1739 species of plants, 136 mammal species, 640 bird species (15% considered rare), and 143 fish species. Attention needs to be drawn to the Plateau Mandingue, the Haut Bani Niger, the Delta Central du Niger, the Gourma, and the Adrar des Ifoghas, which constitute areas of great importance in regard to biodiversity. Moreover, Mali is an important domestication center for cultivated plants, such as rice, corn, sugar cane, and sorgho. Human activities, such as forest clearance, overgrazing, poaching, overfishing, bush fires, chemical fights against parasitic diseases, and use of chemical fertilizers are threatening the country’s biodiversity. The lack of awareness regarding environmental protection and the significant increase of population are adding to this difficult situation.

National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan

Major features of National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

In addition to Mali’s general goal and principles, the NBSAP contains numerous objectives, which relate to: the improvement of knowledge; the conservation of resources; the promotion of sustainable development, ecotourism, and fair sharing of benefits; and biotechnology and biosafety. The NBSAP also comprises an implementation strategy based on strategic axis and general measures, such as strengthening institutional and legislative frameworks, and raising awareness. Furthermore, the action plan centers around five specific programmes of work: strengthening of protected areas; sustainable management of biological resources; capacity building; promotion of traditional practices and knowledge; and preservation of local crop varieties as well as domestic breeds.

Implementation of the Convention

Measures Taken to Achieve the 2010 Target

Mali intends to protect 15% of the territory by 2010. The identified areas of significance with regards to biodiversity (Plateau Mandingue, Haut Bani Niger, Delta Central du Niger, Gourma, and Adrar des Ifoghas) will be given special attention. Measures have been taken to protect local plants varieties and some animal species, such as chimpanzees and Derby Elans, through creation of reserves and implementation of biodiversity projects. The promotion of sustainable agriculture, forestry, fisheries and mining, along with the promotion of traditional knowledge and practices, support of partners (such as NGOs), capacity building, restoration of degraded sites, implementation of CITES and exotic species management, fight against negative effects of climate change and desertification, and reduction of pollution constitute other issues that Mali will address in order to achieve the 2010 target.

Initiatives in Protected Areas

4% of the country is currently protected, but Mali intends to protect 15% of the territory by 2010. The areas of interest include large natural areas, highly threatened areas, and areas that are home to highly threatened species. Some wetlands may be added to the list of Ramsar sites.

Initiatives for Article 8(j)

Indigenous communities play an important role in the elaboration of biodiversity inventories, management of the various uses of biodiversity, and implementation of the activities related to conservation and restoration. The country states that one of the objectives related to decentralization is the active participation of local and indigenous communities (including women) in every step of the work program.

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  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme