||Climate change is a global problem with local consequences. However, the direction and magnitude of these consequences in extremely vulnerable regions - such as the Sahel - cannot yet be predicted with any certainty. The studies in this volume focus on people for whom climate variability, mainly rainfall, is a more immediate and urgent problem than climate change itself. They demonstrate how small-scale communities in south and central Mali are coping with the sudden changes in their ecological environment and are making decisions concerning their livelihoods under high-risk conditions. This book is a result of the climate change project.