CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY - CIDA

CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY - CIDA

November 30, 2007 12:14 ET

The Government of Canada Supports Universite Laval in a Development Project in Mali

QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Nov. 30, 2007) - Luc Harvey, Member of Parliament for Louis-Hebert, today announced on behalf of the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, that the Canadian International Development Agency would provide $1 million in funding to Universite Laval for the project Des arbres et des champs contre la pauvrete au Mali program, which will promote good forestry and land-management practices in Mali.

"The Government of Canada is proud to be Universite Laval's partner in a project that responds so well to Mali's need to strengthen its agricultural sector, while supporting sustainable development based on protection of the environment," said Minister Oda. "The project will enable communities in Mali to increase their food security and diversify their economies."

Through this project, Universte Laval experts in agroforestry will partner with the Institut polytechnique rural de formation et de recherche appliquee de Katibougou in Mali to strengthen the institute's education programs in agroforestry. In addition, the two partner institutions will promote good land management in five villages, both as an educational opportunity and as a means of demonstrating how planting trees can arrest soil erosion, provide commodities including medicinal products, firewood and fertilizer, and contribute to food production.

"We are happy to be able to work with our colleagues from the Institut to benefit rural families, who make up the bulk of Mali's population," said Alain Olivier, a professor of agroforestry in the faculty of agricultural and food sciences at Laval. " By building this institution's capacities for teaching, research, and community services in the field of agroforestry, we can help to combat environmental degradation in Mali. At the same time, we can seek to meet the challenge of addressing the food and energy needs of farmers."

The project will strengthen institutions such as the Centre des ressources agroforestieres du Sahel nationally and regionally, as part of building a national strategy in forestry and agricultural management, for which the project will serve as a model.

"Putting land management in the hands of Malian institutions and communities is the best way to promote food security, because the people who must make decisions about agroforestry also benefit from sustainable development based on environmental protection," said Mr. Harvey. "It's encouraging that Universite Laval has proposed an approach that takes into account the interests of farmers, and especially women, who perform most of the agricultural work."

This support has been provided through the Canadian International Development Agency under the University Partnerships in Cooperation and Development Program, and is administered by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. For more information, please see the attached backgrounder.


BACKGROUNDER

GOVERNMENT OF CANADA SUPPORTS UNIVERSITE LAVAL'S FORESTRY PROJECT IN MALI

The Government of Canada today announced $1 million in funding to Universite Laval to develop the capacity for agroforestry in Mali. The project, Des arbres et des champs contre la pauvrete au Mali, will contribute to increasing agricultural revenues in Mali, and bring more control over environmental sustainability to the community level.

As a landlocked country that is two-thirds desert or semi-desert, Mali is highly dependent on agriculture and therefore highly vulnerable to climate change and fluctuation in the prices of its agricultural products, especially as its small manufacturing sector is largely devoted to processing these products.

Trees in Mali are used for medicinal products, firewood, fertilizer, and in food production - as well as serving their more universal role of preventing soil erosion. With more diversified local economies, agricultural communities will have more stable incomes and be less vulnerable to environmental hazards.

The project Des arbres et des champs contre la pauvrete au Mali will also contribute to food security over the longer term because it focuses on local ownership. Universite Laval experts will partner with the Institut polytechnique rural de formation et de recherche appliquee de Katibougou in Mali to strengthen its capacity for training, research, and intervention in the field of agroforestry, so that Malian students can carry the knowledge back to communities throughout the country. The project will also focus on including women in all stages of its implementation - including pilot interventions in five villages in the Koulikoro and Meguetan areas - forming a vital link in promoting gender equality, as women play a central role in agriculture in Mali.

Mali has demonstrated commitment to sustainable development and taken a leadership role in regional peace, security, and human rights. Since the establishment of democratic rule in 1992, the Government of Mali has pursued a program of privatization, decentralization, and administrative reform.

This support has been provided through the Canadian International Development Agency under the University Partnerships in Cooperation and Development Program, and is administered by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Veronique Bruneau
    Press Secretary
    819-953-6238
    or
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office
    819-953-6534
    info@acdi-cida.gc.ca
    http://www.cida.gc.ca (electronic version of document)