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Siemenpuu visits Mali

Siemenpuu is visiting Mali and its partner Mali Folkecenter (MFC) between 4.9 – 19.9.2014, starting off in Bamako, to the Filamana, Garalo and Finkolo areas of Southern green Sikasso region.

Hanna Matinpuro and Ruby van der Wekken tell more about their visit. 

8.9.2014 – During today’s meeting at the office of MFC in Bamako we shared recent developments of MFC and Siemenpuu. The meeting sparked of different interesting discussions, for instance hearing on last weeks alliance building meeting with actors like Via Campesina Mali (CNOP) regarding land rights issues. A new law on land rights and land distribution is currently under development which movements fear will only facilitate grand development processes, whereas the movements want to protect small family agriculture.  MFC with the other organisations are planning joint campaigning on the issue.

It was interesting also to hear a bit how whilst legally the issue of mining is out of control from a municipal’s administration, actors like Mayor Kalidou in the Finkolo area – who has been building popular resistance critical of mining with the support of MFC – will be able to tackle the mining issues by appealing to the law on the decentralisation of environmental governance, as well as to the national Environmental Pact MFC as part of a broader coalition has developed to get environmental issues as part of the political agenda.  In 2013 the Pact was signed by most of the president candidates.

Mali Folkecenter started its Sigida Nyetaa cooperation program  with Siemenpuu in 2006, to promote participatory environmental governance and the strengthening of sustainable peoples local economies countering push and pull of factors like gold mining. The program since 2012 in particular has been developing its work around three Centres of capacity building in the Filamana, Garalo and Finkolo areas of Southern green Sikasso region.

Tomorrow we will be heading out to Garalo, getting to know the realities around this Centre, with its emphasis more on developing of organic agriculture and gardening, as also its beekeeping, milk production and energy kiosks. Representatives from the other areas will be joining us on Thursday for joint discussions.