Country study Burkina Faso 


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 Burkinabč 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.


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