The Inner Niger Delta is a vast geographical and cultural space made up of an immense network of river branches, marshes and lakes, the surface of which varies considerably depending on the water level. This humid area, one of the biggest in the world, is remarkable for its biological wealth, as much for its flora as for its fauna. More than 140 species of fish and 350 species of bird can be found there. The delta is a platform for exchange; historically it has served as a cultural and economic crossroads and retains this vibrancy today.
To learn about and increase understanding of this precious reserve of biodiversity, the Regional Assembly of Mopti (Mali) is setting up a resource centre there on the subject of the Delta, with support from France’s Centre region. The region’s task is to find a balance between reasonable exploitation of natural resources, conservation of natural and cultural heritage, and the demands of the sustainable development of a growing population. This project falls within the wider context of a decentralisation which is granting regions a growing place in territorial development programmes.
The Delta Centre was set up as a resource centre on the Delta, aiming to capitalise on knowledge of the region and to offer training opportunities for elected representatives and local people. Amongst its activities, is the role Delta Centre plays in implementing environmental education initiatives (tell me your (river) story), in a programme for the reforestation of villages on the river’s banks with support from the Centre region, but also in programmes for training guides. The centre also runs awareness raising activities, open to the general public, on the environmental resources of the Delta (river chats, an environment fortnight).