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Environmental Economics in Mali

Economic analysis of the environmental management in Mali : Costs and benefits

Based on the results of the analysis completed in 2008, two synthetic fact sheets have been elaborated in order to present two domains analysed for which a political action is not only beneficial, but crucial for the future of the country as well (in French only):

Fact sheet Atmosphere
Fact sheet Waste
Fact sheet Water
Fact sheet Energies and materials
Fact sheet Soils and forests

Environmental economics: MACRO analysis


After having implemented the MESO program aimed at promoting environmental economics at the scale of an industrial sector or an urban community, Ecosys and SBA are collaborating once again in the framework of an environmental economic evaluation at the MACRO level.

Indeed, an analysis at the national scale enables the elaboration of environmental policies and has an important contribution for the decision-making process. This type of analysis is based on the fact that environmental problems have to be considered in the socio-economic transition that developing countries are undertaking, thus challenging poverty reduction and environmental protection.

The main objective of this environmental economic evaluation is to elaborate a well-thought strategy which determines qualitative goals and to suggest a concrete plan of actions while identifying the “critical path” to implement it. In this respect, the aim of this study is not only to recommend specific remediation measures, but also to bring a holistic reflection for a global strategy that will fit with the national policy.


The evaluation method is split in 4 stages:

Case study: Mali

Situation in Mali

Mali is endowed with tremendous natural richness, an important fauna and flora diversity and unique ecosystems. However, a growing number of environmental issues are being faced, as a result of the anthropogenic environmental degradation. Following the example of several African countries, these issues are closely connected with the population growth and the decrease of food resources linking sustainable environmental management objectives with those of poverty reduction.

First approach:

A first environmental economics assessment on Mali was performed by Prof. Gonzague Pillet in 1997 (Environmental economics analysis of Mali: Why such an analysis and how to introduce it in the process of Environmental Impact Assessment). Its objective was to explain, in economic language, the costs and external advantages in the perspective of a sustainable environmental and natural resources management. This analysis has shown the importance of environmental degradation, which was assessed between 21 and 26% of the conventional national GDP.

The present analysis aims at developing these results by using an optimized method, integrating the poverty dimension and resulting in some concrete recommendations to begin to shape a political plan of action.

Institutional framework

This study is part of the “Poverty-Environment Initiative” launched in 2005 jointly by UNDP & UNEP at the World Summit for Sustainable Development. It consists in strengthening the contribution of sustainable environment and natural resources management to poverty reduction, sustainable economic growth and the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals (MDG). It is also part of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) and the global development national policies.

Integration of the poverty dimension

Linking poverty reduction to natural resources depletion is an additional aspect of this analysis. It is an essential characteristic of the environmental analysis in Mali, given that these two domains have a very strong interdependence.
Indeed, links between poverty and environment are various, complex and evolving. However, two predominant links can be overseen:
This double interdependence gives birth to 2 potential conflicts: the first opposing “poverty” and “environment” and the second “equity” and “environment”.
The priorities identified by the environmental economics assessment will thus be reviewed and linked to poverty issues, by assessing the level of concern of the poor for each environmental category.

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