Mali is a vast landlocked Sahelian country in the heartland of West Africa having about 60% of its area included in the desert area. It covers an area of 1,241,138 km2 and has a tropical climate characterized by a long dry season and a rainy season lasting from two months in the North to 5 or 6 months in the South. Mali's economy is based primarily on the rural sector, which contributes on average 42.4% of GDP and employs 80% of the population.
The project is located in the Segou region, the 4th administrative region of the country with an estimated population of 2,336,255 inhabitants, distributed among 114 communities (including three urban municipalities), 2133 villages, seven Districts. It covers 5% of the National territory, i.e. 62,000 sq. km. Logging and timber use remain active in the rural areas. Logging is conducted in the forestlands of the region and the timber industry is based on two major supply basins: NIONO and SAN. Trends in rural and urban wood consumption and specifically wood energy, on the one hand and the findings made at field level on the rapid degradation of forest ecosystems on the other hand, have provided the basis for identifying intervention strategies and priority actions tailored to each area. Strict adherence to this strategy is to ensure the sustainability of the forest resource base supplying the main large cities of the region and the timber and fuel wood trade to the capital Bamako and its area. For this purpose, rural markets have been designed and implemented as a tool to achieve the sustainable management of forest resources.
The use and marketing of timber and fuel wood are regulated by the national legislation, but the sector suffers from inadequate law enforcement, due among other things to the low enforcement capacity of the forestry administration and the uncontrolled nature of these timber and fuel wood industries. Illegal logging on community land poses a major challenge for the sustainable management of forest resources, the establishment and maintenance of efficient markets and sustainable forestry practices in the region.
The project is part the strategic priorities of the National Forest Policy of Mali; it is aimed at strengthening the capacity of local communities to enforce forestry legislation and local governance in the area of logging operations and timber and wood marketing, through outreach and education work targeting the stakeholders of the timber industry in accordance with ITTO objectives. It will be implemented by a national NGO for a period of 12 months with a budget of USD 178,893 of which USD 149,707 are requested from ITTO.