Climate-related hazards in Mali include droughts, floods, and crop pests. These hazards are a natural occurrence in Mali, which nevertheless pose serious constraints on development and food security, and their intensity and frequency are likely to increase under a changing climate. Climatic changes are already a significant threat to the country’s development and the nutrition and health of its inhabitants, due to erratic rainfall, increased crop pests, rainfall shortages, and breaks during critical growing periods, as well as desertification over the last 50 years. The most highly stressed regions of the country are in the south where agriculture is concentrated, including Sikasso, Mopti, and Segou. Not only are these regions critical to the country’s continued food security, they are also “endowed with many ecosystem services which are deteriorating, have high population densities and high levels of poverty”. 

This section provides a summary of key natural hazards and their associated socioeconomic impacts in a given country. And it allows quick evaluation of most vulnerable areas through the spatial comparison of natural hazard data with development data, thereby identifying exposed livelihoods and natural systems.


Natural Hazard Statistics

The charts provide overview of the most frequent natural disaster in a given country and understand the impacts of those disasters on human populations.


Climate change is now recognized to have a significant impact on disaster management efforts and pose a significant threat to the efforts to meet the growing needs of the most vulnerable populations. The demands of disaster risk management are such that concise, clear, and reliable information is crucial. The information presented here offers insight into the frequency, impact and occurrence of natural hazards.

Natural Hazard / Development Nexus

Understanding natural hazard occurrence as well as historical climate conditions, in relation to development contexts, is critical to understanding a country’s historical vulnerability. This tool allows the visualization of different natural hazards or historical climate conditions with socio-economic and development datasets. Select the Development Context and either a Natural Hazard or Climate Condition and overlay horizontally by sliding the toggle left or right to gain a broader sense of historically vulnerable areas.



Data presented under Historical Climate Conditions are reanalysis products derived from ERA5-Land data. ERA5-Land is a global land-surface dataset at 9 km resolution, consistent with atmospheric data from the ERA5 reanalysis from 1950 onward. Climate reanalyses combine past observations with models to generate consistent time series of multiple climate variables. They provide a comprehensive description of the observed climate as it has evolved during recent decades, on 3D grids at sub-daily intervals. 

This data has been collected, aggregated and processed by the Climate Resilience Cluster of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Earth Observation for Sustainable Development (EO4SD) initiative.

Key Vulnerabilities
  • Droughts due to erratic rainfall are part and parcel of the natural variability in climate across Mali, and several traditional mechanisms are employed across the country to adapt to drought conditions. Nevertheless, more frequent and longer droughts have plagued Mali in recent decades, exacerbating natural adaptive capacities. 
  • Expanding agriculture, coupled with poor land management practices, particularly on the Niger River flood plain, has significantly increased erosion and sedimentation, and the propensity of some areas to experience severe flooding and subsequent crop loss. 

More information on natural hazards can be found at ThinkHazard.

  • Although it remains difficult to pin particular disasters such as floods and droughts to climate change, it is clear that a destabilized climate system, together with other forms of environmental damage, will cause havoc more frequently, especially in already stressed and marginal environments such as those in Mali. Climate change is not just about average values, but rather a matter of extremes.
  • The predicted increases in maximum and minimum temperatures for Mali, coupled with reduced or erratic rainfall are likely to make natural hazards more frequent and severe. Without improved planning and management, the incidence and impacts of these disasters could increase.
  • Vulnerability is a key factor that could be influenced by expected changes in climates. The poor have limited access to resources and few income-generating opportunities, and their living conditions are often affected by laws, policies, and economic forces over which they have little or no control. Although it is by no means clear whether vulnerable groups, with their pressures to survive, or affluent groups, with their pressures to consume, ultimately leads to the impacts which continue to drive vulnerability, it does seem clear that poor people will not, indeed, cannot, adapt if this requires looking beyond their immediate needs. The potential impacts of climate change on the most vulnerable should thus be prioritized.