Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Woodcutting and territorial claims in Mali

Abstract : In Mali, amidst moves toward political decentralization and the transfer of authority to manage natural resources, woodcutting has become an important tool for the assertion of territorial claims by villagers. The decentralization process has itself led to a profound political shake-up between the central state seeking to maintain land ownership and the de facto management of land by customary village authorities. But it is, however, primarily the devolution of forest resource management to village-led organizations that has prompted the cross-scale legitimization and assertion of various territorial claims from 1995 onwards. Based on two in-depth case studies on the outskirts of Bamako, Mali, the authors illustrate how new practices revolving around woodcutting and charcoal-making have been instrumental in intra- and inter-village disputes. At the village level, this transfer tends to exacerbate tenure claims over land and trees with the reactivation of autochthony-related arguments and thus the risk of excluding the most vulnerable social groups which are typically involved in woodcutting. At the inter-village level, this gives villages the opportunity to claim and demarcate boundaries by cutting, painting signs on some trees, or more radically tree felling being carried out solely to demonstrate appropriation. At the municipal level, this transfer leads to political and social adjustments between customary and decentralized authorities, each struggling to build their legitimacy in natural resource management.
Mots-clés : MALI
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata

https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02593524
Contributor : Migration Irstea Publications <>
Submitted on : Friday, May 15, 2020 - 5:25:29 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, March 25, 2021 - 3:31:58 AM

Identifiers

Collections

Citation

D. Gautier, B. Hautdidier, Laurent Gazull. Woodcutting and territorial claims in Mali. Geoforum, Elsevier, 2011, 42 (1), pp.28-39. ⟨10.1016/j.geoforum.2010.08.008⟩. ⟨hal-02593524⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

49