A perspective from Mali

During the COP21 SustainableEnergy met with Zakara Mamane. Zakara is the coordinator for the Youth Baton programme in Mali, and works on a daily basis for MFC. According to Zakara, as the climate is changing its usual patterns it is central to increase the support to countries like Mali with improved infrastructure and better access to energy sources. At COP21 Zakara has been meeting with politicians to listen to and discuss how to move this development faster and further.

‘We are the first ones to feel the impacts. The developing countries in Africa are most affected and vulnerable to climate change.’ Zakara mentions the Youth Baton project as one good example of how it can be done to prepare and inspire people to share similar climate challenges. ‘The Baton project works across several African countries and has the aim to educate and prepare especially younger generations to deal with climate change and its consequences. One concrete solution is to increase access to renewable energy over the coming years. Another solution promoted by the Youth Baton project is the use of an online platform that helps local youth groups in Mali, Kenya, Mozambique and Burkina Faso to exchange information and knowledge via social media.’ In 2015 the focus of Youth Baton has been on renewable energy, deforestation, sanity access and waste handling.

It was the clear opinion of Zakara that many people in Mali already today can feel the consequences of climate change in terms of increasing droughts and desertification of the land. ‘People lack knowledge and opportunities for accessing sustainable energy sources. It is important and necessary to support especially rural people in their efforts to adapt to a changing climate.’