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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Constraints related to the implementation of conservation measures are mainly due to two factors: the poverty of populations that often work for their survival and the successive droughts that entail the massive death of plants and animals.


In a context where the basis of the subsistence of the majority of the population depends on the exploitation of natural resources, conservation of biological diversity is at the same time not only a condition to the survival and development of these populations, but also a challenge.

Droughts of the seventies clearly revealed the necessity to have systems of production adapted to the climatic variations, capable of permitting the production of the minimum necessary, in spite of the unfavourable climatic conditions that would prevail. In these conditions it is imperious to have a large range of technologies, including phytogenetic, animal, forest resources.
But, many factors hinder the conservation of biological diversity. The most important ones are:

  • natural climatic variations: the big droughts provoked a mass mortality of animal and plant species, and a slip of areas of distribution of certain spontaneous species of the Sahel toward Sudanese climatic zones;

  • systems of slash-and-burn technique and extensive agricultural production.

The exact impact (positive or negative) of these two factors on biological diversity is not well established, due to lack of detailed studies.
Other not less important factors contribute to the bad conservation of resources. These are mainly:

  • poaching that constitutes the real enemy of fauna nowadays. With regard to this activity its impact deserves to be valued;

  • urbanisation : it inexorably leads to the disappearance of plant and animal species in the most affected zones (e.g.  : the Central Plateau);

  • opposition between the modern legislation and customary (traditional) regulation; this is how traditional appropriation right, of collective type, opposes modern right based on private property;

  • introduction of a preliminary authorisation and the payment of taxes for any exploitation of resources for commercial purposes are often badly understood, which creates fraudulent exploitation, susceptible to compromise the conservation of biological diversity;

  • conflicts between objectives of use and socio-professional groups (in a context of demographic expansion and natural resource rarefaction):

  • agriculture/breeding - the extension of agriculture was being done at the detriment of pastoral space;

  • natives / natives (related to problems of inheritance and power);

  • natives/migrants (land problems)

  • insecticide treatments: some insecticide products proscribed by legislation are still sold on the markets. These substances destroy without discernment harmful and natural auxiliary insects, and break the food chains. The consequence of all this is the disappearance of numerous species.


Besides the above mentioned constraints, there are other difficulties of which the main ones are enumerated below.

  • The unsuitability of certain systems of agricultural popularisation; they incite the peasant to plant some productive varieties through technological packets prepared in advance, rather than to incite him to use several varieties, notably local ones. On this topic, a joint project by the Ministry of Environment / Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research is under formulation. This project aims at laying strong foundations for in-situ conservation, in getting producers more involved.

  • The vast number of contributors in the management of natural resources and biological diversity. Indeed, the Burkinabè institutional landscape concerning natural resources management and conservation of biological diversity is marked by a scattering of decision centres.

  • The insufficiency and sometimes the lack of a scheduling of actions by priority.

  • The not taking into account the cost of natural resources regeneration, notably the fixing of quotas of exploitation as well as actions and/or taxes intended for the restoration of products taken, which creates a situation of imbalance between supply and demand and tends to lead eventually to the extinction of species and the imbalance of ecosystems.

The devaluation of the franc CFA, could have as other consequence an aggravation of the deterioration of biological diversity because of the increase in prices of imported products, notably agricultural inputs (fertiliser in particular) and medicines, which constrains the populations to fall back more on natural resources.




The policy of agricultural and pastoral development of Burkina Faso is recorded in the Letter of Sustainable Agricultural Development Policy (LPDA), addressed to World Bank in the framework of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) and of the Adjustment Programme of the Agricultural Sector (PASA) - (BF/PASA/LPDA/2 May 1992).

  • The three (3) objectives that were defined in it are:

  • modernisation and diversification of production;

  • reinforcement of food security;

  • improvement of natural resources management.

Five orientations were brought out among which two have a direct effect on the conservation of biological diversity. It is about the increase in productivity by the dissemination of technologies of intensive production and of the slowing down of the deterioration of natural resources in taking some necessary measures in the domain of land-ownership.

These fundamental orientations fall within the policy of progressive disengagement of the State that will delegate more actions than it currently does. The determining role of actors at the grassroots level is thus defined.
This role has clearly been specified by the Head of State of Burkina Faso in his speech pronounced during the rally of June 2, 1994 on production in these terms: “Each of us (the Burkinabès) in their domain of expertise and sphere of activities can and must fully contribute to the realisation of sectorial objectives identified as vectors of well-being for the nation.” During this rally the Head of State made six (6) commitments that are of interest to the entire domain of biological diversity. These are:

  • protection of the environment and the fight against desertification;

  • increase in agro-pastoral production;

  • organisation of and support for the informal sector;

  • development of the network of small and medium enterprises;

  • support to income generating activities of women;

  • elevation of the general level of knowledge at the grassroots level and the development of sports and cultural activities.

Concerning PASA of which mention is made above, a first phase ended in 1995 and should be followed by PASA II for the consolidation and furthering of the main orientations.

The policy of agro-pastoral development is implemented through several Programmes and projects. The planning from 1994 to 1996 was the following:

  • Integrated Rural Development Projects: 7 billion;

  • National Programme for Soil Management: 9 billion;

  • Specific projects (breeding sector, etc.) : 9 billion;

  • Institutional support: 14 billion;

Total funding acquired: 12,670 billion.

Thus, 16 projects out of a total of 39 have a direct tie with natural resources management and conservation of biological diversity.
The paragraphs that follow give details of economic development Programmes by the main sectors of activity that touch directly on biological diversity.


The development of the agricultural sub-sector rests on the following five specific axes:

  • the development of cereal crops (sorghum, millet, corn and rice notably);

  • the development of sugar cane for the production of sugar;

  • the development of other industrial crops such as groundnuts, sheanut and sesame;

  • the development of fruits and vegetables.

These axes are translated by specific Programmes and projects. The development of cereals is co-ordinated by a Permanent Secretariat for Cereal Policy and is implemented notably through Projects of Integrated Rural Development and irrigation Projects.

The challenge that faces the success of such an ambitious Programme rests precisely on the observation of a sustainable balance between natural resources conservation and balanced development without which biological diversity would not be preserved.
The most meaningful results concerning the conciliation between conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity are mitigated enough. Indeed, if in a general manner agricultural production has effectively had an appreciable increase, it remained attributable for the essential to the extension of cultivated surfaces to the detriment of forest formations that are the main sites of biological diversity and, unfortunately, at the cost of a great destruction of the constituent elements of biological diversity.
On the other hand, integrated rural development projects were able to create the dynamics of encouraging the populations to assume more responsibility at the grassroots level concerning natural resources management. Structures like Village Committees for Soil Management, which are developing and strengthening from day to day, play more and more a positive role in the conservation of natural resources and biological diversity. But this still remains insufficient.


The evolution of breeding policy has been marked by the following important stages:

  • before the nineteen seventies (1970s), breeding policy was centred on animal health with the objective of fighting against endemic diseases; CIRDES (ex-CRTA), was the kingpin of this policy, co-ordinated by the Economic Community of Livestock and Meat.

  • from the nineteen seventies (1970s), projects of breeding, centred on the production of meat and milk appeared progressively. Let us mention as an example: the breeding project of West Volta, that was especially interested in the selection of resistant race to diseases; the Markoye Ranch in the North that introduced the AZAWAK zebus (resistant) as well as the redhead goat of Maradi. The FED-Yatenga Small Ruminant project whose centre of interest was the selection of meat and milk productive races (Macina sheep); PDAV, ODAT and the Rabbit Project were interested in poultry and rabbits. The Rabbit project, based in Bobo-Dioulasso, created a new race: the Bobo race, currently widely popularised in the country.

The development of breeding pursues the following specific objectives:

  • support for the pastoral laying out (Pastoral Laying out Support Programme: PAAP)

  • dairy development (National Dairy Development Pilot Project);

  • Research - Development;

  • collection and treatment of animal statistics;

  • development of village animal breeding (animal development Project at the

village level);

  • pastoral zones follow-up ( Pastoral Zones Follow-up Unit).

According to breeding services, information on the diversity of species and local domestic races or introduced into our country exist but is not useful because of its scattering and non-availability.

The main activities undertaken for a better knowledge of pastoral resources are about ecological follow-up and improvement of races of these resources.
With regard to ecological follow-up, interesting data on the biological diversity of pastures are regularly gathered. Their judicious exploitation should permit to draw a list of present species and to follow their evolution.
With regard to the improvement of races, the situation is the same for what concerns the availability and the reliability of information. Indeed, since the first descriptions done by IEMVT, no official publication updating the lists of local species and races as well as their description has been made.
The available information is often related to the execution of projects and dissertations and theses of end of studies. At present, the Directorate of Animal Health and CNDA can be considered as centres of excellence of archives concerning breeding in Burkina Faso. Indeed, at certain time, all information on breeding was kept at CNDA. The following institutions also detain some precious information on breeding, they are: IDR (for reports, dissertations and theses); CIRDES in Bobo-Dioulasso, that was interested lately in the inventory of domestic local animal races and species in Burkina Faso; CAPE of Matroukou; ORSTOM; Banankélé-Daga Centre (that had for mandate the improvement of bovines and the introduction of sheep races); Markoye Ranch (that was charged with the introduction of AZAWAK zebus and Maradi goats).
Concerning poultry (hens and guineafowls), rabbits, donkeys, horses and pigs, dissertations were recently published (see catalogue of dissertations and theses of IDR).
DPIA also deplores that with regard to the new races resulting from anarchical crossbreedings (provoked or spontaneous), no inventory has been done. The lack of control and regulation on crossbreedings favours certain risks of the disappearance of local races. This is so true that there is currently no on site or ex situ conservation Programme. The situation should complicate further with the total privatisation of breeding in the framework of SAP.


The development objectives of these four subsectors are part of the more global National Action Plan for the Environment (PANE) framework, adopted in 1991 and reviewed in 1994 to take into account the conclusions of the Rio Conference. The main objectives of PANE are:

  • to encourage natural resources regeneration and to protect biological diversity;

  • to improve the living environment;

  • to contribute to the process of a sustainable development;

More specifically, the objectives of the three subsectors (forests, fauna and fishing) are expressed in the national forest policy. They are essentially:

  • forest resources valorisation by rational planning and exploitation methods;

  • generation of employments and incomes in rural environments;

  • conservation of biological diversity, in particular safeguarding animal and plant species threatened of disappearance;

  • continuous improvement of knowledge and information on natural resources.

To achieve these objectives specific activities of the three subsectors have been identified and fall within the scope of the five programmes of PANE. They are:

  • Framework Programme for Soil Management;

  • Framework Programme for the improvement of the Living Environment;

  • National Programme for the Management of Information on the Environment;

  • Programme for Expertise Development in Environment.

Thus, the global objective of the Master Programme for National Heritage Management (PCGPN) is to ensure efficient management of natural resources and the national space. For its implementation, this programme needs a funding of 19.791.308.250 F CFA (before the devaluation 1 United States dollar was equal to 250 F CFA).

The global objective of the Master Programme for Soil Management (PCGT) is to encourage the rural populations to take responsibility in natural resources management through integration of development policies, property security, maintenance and improvement of production base. This programme has a funding need of 1.554.032.250 F CFA (before the devaluation).
The general objective of the Master Programme for the Improvement of Living Conditions (PCACV) is to intensify the involvement of the rural and urban populations to the healthy management of their environment, to reinforce the essential infrastructures and to contribute to endow them with sustainable means of existence.
The National Programme for the Management of Information on the Environment (PNGIM) aims among others at improving the relevance, the quality, the availability of information on the environment and reinforcing the national mechanisms for information processing and diffusion. Funding to secure for this programme is valued at F CFA (before the devaluation).
The Programme of Expertise Development in Environment (PDCE) aims at reinforcing human expertise and national technical capacities necessary to implement PANE and sustainable development. Funding search for this programme is valued at 1.875.310.000 F CFA (before the devaluation).
Among the financed projects are those included under the Public Investment Programme (PIP). The global cost of these fundings amounts to 14.648 million CFA francs, distributed among the following subsector activities:

  • forestry in land use (village forestry) with 5 projects and 37.02% of the global amount;

  • firewood and energy with 6 projects and 27.7% of the global amount;

  • conservation of ecosystems with 7 projects and 14.3% of the global amount;

  • valorisation of forest products with 1 project and 17.4% of the global amount;

  • support to forestry institutions with 11 projects and 21.6% of the global amount.


The main actions undertaken in Burkina Faso to benefit from advantages offered by biological diversity are summarised in the Table 38, with indication of sites or zones concerned.

Table 38: Mode of managing biological diversity

Agricultural production: all the national territory;

Agroforestry: agroforestry parks

Pastoral production: Sudano-Sahelian and Sahelian zones;

Development of hydrographic basins: Sourou, the Kou Valley, Kompienga,;

Management of wild fauna: protected forests, national parks, total reserves, partial reserves;

Management of game: Nazinga ranch;

Biosphere reserve: hippo pond;

Ornithological sanctuary: Oursi pond;

Forest resources management: protected forests, national parks, reserves of fauna, protected forests, sacred woods;

Organisation of forest exploitation: adjoining forests of big urban centres (eg.: Gonsé, Nazinon);

Halieutic resources management: perennial rivers, natural lakes, dams;

Fight against soil erosion: Central Plateau of the country;

Aesthetic and recreational activities: tourism of vision in parks and reserves, parklands;

Habitat of birds: ponds of the Sahel, reserves of fauna;

Readaptation of the legislation: management of the environment;

Environmental education: classified forests, national parks, reserves, botanical garden, reform of the education system;

Genetic resources conservation: in - situ and ex - situ conservatory;

Domains of scientific research: research sites on natural resources management.


Activities relating to conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity are various (e.g.  : development of natural formations, protection of species, sensitisation, studies about natural resources, research, integrated management of resources, etc.), and are carried out at different levels of active life. The actions carried out are part of the framework of the National Action Plan for the Environment. The principal actors in the matter are state-controlled structures, NGOs, Peasants’ Associations and individuals. Thus, the real costs of all these activities are difficult to evaluate because of the absence of a centralised database. However, a certain assessment of these expenses can be made from existing official documents. Summary of expenditure

Expenses presented here concern actions undertaken by State structures. Financing is ensured by State funds, self-financing of activities and subsidies and loans from bilateral and multilateral co-operation. The Table below presents the balance sheet of these expenses from 1992 to 1996. As can be seen from Table 39, efforts dedicated to the management of environmental resources globally increased during the period considered.

Table 39: Summary of expenditures (in millions of F CFA)





































Source: Budget of the State and Directorate for Coordination and assessment of investments (Ministry in charge of finance) Non-satisfied financial needs

The non-satisfied financial needs are those sought-after through projects to come and complement efforts deployed by the State to derive a better profit and better manage national biological diversity for a long time. Summaries of needs are presented in Table 40.

Table 40: Summary of financial needs to be searched for by PANE’s framework programme for the management of biological diversity

Framework programmes/programme

Amount (before the devaluation of the F CFA) in millions F CFA

Management of National Patrimony


Soil Management


Improvement of Living Conditions


Management of Information on the Natural Environment


Development of Capacities in Environment




Source : Investment Programme PANE, 1994.
It necessary to note that there are serious difficulties to mobilise the necessary financial ressources for the implementation of these programmes. The consequences of this is thet, relatively,few projects have effectively received funding. This is testified ion table 41 according to projects recorded at the level of the ministry in charge of planning and cooperation for search funding.
Table 41: Summary of the financial needs of projects in search of funding as at

December 31, 1996 provided by the main ministries in charge of biological diversity

Ministry in Charge of

In millions of F CFA

Territorial Administration (Ministry of Interior)


Social Action and Family


Environment and Water


Secondary, Higher Education and Scientific Research


Agriculture and Animal Resources


Basic Education and Mass Literacy




Source: Directorate for Coordination and assessment of Investments (Ministry in charge of finance)

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