VU looking further in Mali

W4RA organizes UN Green Climate Fund workshop with farmer organization AOPP in Bamako, Mali

10/20/2016 | 9:41 AM

VU researchers and students have started collaboration with Malian farmers on Regreening, so as to mitigate effects of climate change and improve food security. Last week, VU and Malian grassroots farmer organization AOPP jointly organized a workshop in Bamako, Mali, to set up a project consortium for this purpose, to be funded by the United Nations Green Climate Fund.

Mali is considered to be one of the poorest countries in the world. The effects of climate change, land degradation and desertification are a serious threat to the food security of millions of people, especially in rural regions. The United Nations have prioritized support to Mali in the framework of the Green Climate Funds (GCF), a new programme that is now awaiting project proposals to fight the effects of climate change at a global scale.  

A team of the VU programme W4RA (Web alliance for Regreening in Africa) together with the grassroots Malian farmer organization AOPP (l’Association des Organisations professionnelles paysannes)  organized and co-chaired a GCF needs assessment workshop in Bamako, Mali, on 13 October 2016. The workshop was attended by representatives from the Embassies of the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway, the Malian government agency for environment and sustainable development AEDD, the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and Global Environment Facility (GEF), development (donor) agencies from EU and Germany, and a wide range of Malian and international NGO development organizations, as well as radio stations.

At VU Amsterdam, this work is part of the W4RA community-service research and education programme, an interdisciplinary collaboration of the Network Institute, VU Informatics Department and the VU International Office/Centrum voor Internationale Samenwerking CIS-VU.  Initiated on the VU Dies Natalis 2009 in the presence of Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, it supports information, communication, and knowledge sharing activities concerning Regreening in the West Africa Sahel countries (Mali, Burkina Faso, northern Ghana). It does so by R&D to field deploy local ICT web and mobile app innovations, and by associated PhD research, master student projects, Network Institute Academy assistants, and an ICT4D (ICT for Development) master-level course.