All forest has now disappeared up to a distance of 20 kilometres from Bamako, the capital of Mali. Every day, pick-up trucks continue to venture still farther to load up on wood and drive back to the city. The demand for wood fuel is increasing rapidly because of the big migration to Bamako, which is currently the fastest growing city in Africa.
Logging here is far from sustainable, which means there’s a need for other types of livelihoods for the part of the population that turns to plundering the forest for income.
Locals turn sustainable and repay
The challenge of solving the problem of the rampant logging has inspired the Danish environmental organisation VedvarendeEnergi (SustainableEnergy) to team up with a partner organisation in Mali, MFC Nyetta. Together, they give the local people funding opportunities through micro-loans, in order to find alternatives to cutting down the trees. The results so far are very promising: More than 4000 people have turned away from damaging the environment to make a living. In addition, the repayment rates for the micro-loans has proven to be extremely high. As many as 95 percent of the loans are paid back in full, and from 2014 to 2015, the number of new loan takers has doubled to 728.Read article ->