Burkina Faso


Burkina Faso

Located in Western Africa, Burkina Faso is a landlocked country to the north of Ghana. Eighty percent of the population is rural, making a living primarily through agriculture, livestock and forestry on small family farms. Cotton is the main cash crop, and cotton and gold are the country’s main exports.

The country is subject to endemic droughts, which along with land use changes, population pressures, and land tenure insecurity have contributed to food shortages. Almost half of the population lives in poverty.

After declaring its independence from France in 1960, land in rural areas was largely governed according to customary law and practices. In 2009, the government adopted the Rural Land Tenure Law, which recognizes customary rules and practices and decentralizes land management.  It also enables legal recognition of individual possession rights and collective land rights, land transfers through inheritance, and land loans. While gender equality is enshrined in the Constitution, rural women’s land rights are constrained by customary practices in which men’s property is passed onto male relatives.

Some of the main land-related issues in the country include: implementation of the new Rural Land Tenure Law, land disputes, climate change, and artisanal mining.

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Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF)

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    • Very Good Practice
    • Good Practice
    • Weak Practice
    • Very Weak Practice
    • Missing Value

    Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure

    Legend: National laws adoption of the VGGT principle
    • Fully adopt
    • Partially adopt
    • Not adopted
    • Missing Value

    Note: The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (The VGGTs) were endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security in 2012.

    The "VGGT indicators" dataset has been created by Nicholas K. Tagliarino, PhD Candidate at the University of Groningen, with support from Daniel Babare and Myat Noe (LLB Students, University of Groningen). The indicators assess national laws in 50 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America against international standards on expropriation, compensation, and resettlement as established by Section 16 of the VGGTs.

    Each indicator relates to a principle established in section 16 of the VGGTs. Hold the mouse against the small "i" button above for a more detailed explanation of the indicator.

    Answering the questions posed by these indicators entails analyzing a broad range of national-level laws, including national constitutions, land acquisition acts, land acts, community land acts, agricultural land acts, land use regulations, and some court decisions.


    Latest News

    Burkina Faso
    Latin America and the Caribbean
    South Sudan
    United States of America

    By: Paola Totaro
    Date: August 9th 2016
    Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation



    Displaying 1 - 6 of 677
    Journal Articles & Books
    December 2015

    In Burkina Faso, livestock sedentarization programmes are still at the top of policy makers’ agendas and at the heart of their discourse, despite huge changes in land cover, land use and territorialities in rural areas. This paper contributes to the literature on the impact of livestock policies targeting the sedentarization of pastoralism in sub-Saharan Africa by specifically highlighting the territorial consequences of such policies.

    Journal Articles & Books
    December 2013

    The Sahelian region, characterized by erratic, heavy rainfalls and low soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks, is highly vulnerable to land degradation. While water erosion is recognized as being a main mechanism of SOC losses, little research has yet been done to investigate the role which soil surface crusting might have on SOC losses. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of soil surface crusting on SOC losses. This study was conducted in Tougou Catchment (37km²), northwest of Burkina Faso, which receives a cumulative mean annual rainfall of 500mmy⁻¹.

    Journal Articles & Books
    December 2009

    There is an increasing understanding that forests and the forestry sector are key elements in poverty reduction strategies in Africa. However, issues of equity between various forest users are becoming a major challenge to environmental development, forest management and poverty reduction. This paper presents an analysis of household representatives' socio-economic determinants and other constraints on accessing forest products, based on data collected through a questionnaire survey of 1865 respondents in seven districts of the Sissili province, southern Burkina Faso.

    Journal Articles & Books
    December 2010

    The emergence of markets for mitigation of climate change presents new opportunities for increasing economic and ecological returns to rangelands in developing countries. Improving rangeland management is a potentially significant source of mitigation from sequestration. It is appealing due to the likely links to sustainable agricultural development and poverty reduction. Many of the changes needed to sequester carbon are also associated with improved rangeland productivity and incomes.

    Conference Papers & Reports
    December 2008

    This study is based on data collected from 141 family-type farms in the Yatenga province in Burkina Faso. A probit approach is used to analyze the effect of perception of land degradation and other factors on the adoption of zaï and stone rows. The results of the estimation show that the availability of organic matter from small ruminants is determinant for the adoption of both zaï and stone rows. Although most of farmers are aware of the causes and consequences of land degradation, this factor does not significantly impact on farmers’ decision to invest in SWC measures.

    Journal Articles & Books
    December 2011

    In-depth statistical analysis of forest transition between land-cover types over time can reveal the dominant signals of landscape transformation, which are needed in order to develop appropriate land management strategies. We applied a recently developed methodology to analyse the transition matrix of six land-cover classes, derived from 1986 and 2002 Landsat images of an area of 15 675 km² in southern Burkina Faso. Results show that most landscape transformations followed a systematic process.