Natural resource conflicts in Mali in the last decade represent an important case to visualise the interconnection between land and climate issues. The country has received significant international attention in recent years both due to the announcement of large-scale land deals and due to its perceived vulnerability to climate stress. At the same time, Malian peasant movements have formed important networks of resistance and have been leading the pilot implementation of village land commissions to recognise and manage community resources, based on a new Agricultural Land Law. This paper explores emerging trends in natural resource politics through the lens of interactions between land and climate policies and discourses. We analyse the growing use of the frame of ‘climate security’ to associate climate change, conflict and migration in relation to countries such as Mali, by looking into the possibilities that this frame could shift focus and blame towards conflicts between marginalised groups and further close space for bottom-up participation. As an alternative, we explore the relevance of a platform of agrarian climate justice and the possibilities and challenges of enacting some of its principles through the implementation of the village land commissions.
This paper is part of the research-action project ‘Policy intersections: strengthening bottom-up accountability amidst the land rush in Mali and Nigeria’ (2018–2020) coordinated by FIAN International (Heidelberg) and funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC, Canada).
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.