Country study on burkina faso biodiversity conducted by the permanent secretariat of the national council for the management of the environment and the national

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The economy of Burkina Faso rests mainly on biological diversity. Indeed, the key sectors for the development of the country (notably, agriculture, breeding, forestry, fisheries, wild fauna, tourism, pharmacopoeia, trade) call on biological diversity. Many other needs of the populations come from biological resources. For example, agro-pastoral production represents a bit more than 38% of the Gross Domestic Product of the country, employs 85% of the population and ensures 40% of export returns (OUEDRAOGO N. A., 1997).



Machines, vehicles, electric products, manufactured products, chemicals, oil products, cereals, dairy products, raw materials, lubricants, textiles

Cotton, manufactured products, machines, livestock, vegetables, leather and hides, groundnuts, shea nuts



US $ : 552 US $

US $ : 321 US $


% of main suppliers

% of main clients


The development of Burkina Faso essentially rests on biological diversity, in the sense that the primary sector is the main supplier of the gross domestic product (GDP). However, it must be admitted that data established concerning the degree of contribution of biological diversity to the economy of the country are below the realities and potentialities, because the biological resources remain very little evaluated and under-exploited. Table 27 presents the evolution of the contribution of this sector to the GDP from 1990 to 1995.

Table 27: Evolution of the primary sector’s contribution to the GDP in % from 1990 to 1995

(Source : OUEDRAOGO N. A., 1997)

(Source : OUEDRAOGO N. A., 1997)

As indicated in this Table, the contribution of the primary sector to the GDP of Burkina Faso evolved during the concerned period. From 1960 to 1994 the GDP of the country evolved on an annual average of 1.1% (UNDP, 1997), what induced an appreciable rise of the per capita income. Table 28 presents the evolution of the per capita income by decade from 1960 to 1994.

In spite of this evolution, Burkina Faso is among the poorest countries of the world. According to the world report on human development (UNDP, 1997), poverty is understood as : insufficiency of income, bad conditions of health or education, lack of access to knowledge and possibilities of communication, impossibility to exercise some political rights and to assert human rights, absence of dignity, confidence and self respect, deterioration of the environment and impoverishment of the country. In the above cited report, detailed facts and figures on the level of development of Burkina Faso are provided. Table 29 presents some of these data by existing socio-economic development sectors. Appendix 4 gives the indicators used by the UNDP to determine the level of sustainable human development of countries.

Table 28: The evolution of the GDP in US $per capita by decade of 1960 to 1994 


(Source : UNDP, 1997, World Report on the Lasting Human Development, p. 180.)

Table 29 : Level of development indicators by sector

Development sector

Indicators of development

Decennial evolution of the GDP (in US $) per inhabitant (year/GDP)

1960/173 $

1970/185 $

1980/219 $

1990/245 $

1994/253 $

Access to goods and services

Population with access to health services 1990-1995 : 90%

Population with access to drinking water 1990-1996 : 78%

Population with access to sewerage

Rate of adult literacy in 1994 : 18.7%

Gross rate of schooling 1992-1994 : 25%


Population to phsician ratio 1988-1991 : 33,333 : 1

Population by nurse 1988

Children vacinated against TB 1992-1995 : 78%

Children vacinated against measles 1992-1995 : 55%

Public health expenditure : 7% of GDP

Flow of resources

Total external debt in % of the GDP in 1994 : 61%

Public aid for development received, 1995 : 483 million US $

Public aid for development received, 1995 : 16.6% of GNP

Public aid for development received, 1995 : 48 $ per inhabitant

% of imports compared to exports, 1994 : 37%

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