The challenge: to restore and adopt sustainable practices to preserve soils and biodiversity
Located in sub-Saharan Africa, Burkina Faso has different ecological zones with a tropical climate that alternates between a dry and a rainy season. Irrigated by three tributaries of the Volta and by two international river systems, the river Niger and the river Comoé, the country is nevertheless still vulnerable to droughts and water shortages. It also has a number of dams and dykes to meet the water requirements of the urban population and irrigate crops during the dry season.
Burkina Faso’s different ecosystems provide habitats for a large number of species. However, they are extremely fragmented and subject to growing pressure from man, especially on land resources due to the increase in population density (urbanisation) and growth which are leading to increasing deforestation, the fragmentation of the habitat and overgrazing.
The threatened species and highly biodiversified habitats are mostly confined to the protected areas, as elsewhere in West Africa. The lion, the leopard, the elephant, the buffalo, the warthog, the antelope, the monkey, the hyena, the jackal, the hippopotamus, the crocodile, the boa, the varan, turtles and hedgehogs are among the typical species found in Burkina Faso.
Other threats, such as uncontrolled bush fires, erosion by wind and water and the loss of the soil’s nutritive components are also affecting the local biodiversity.
In view of the current pressures on soils, flora and fauna, increasing the coverage of official protected areas for medium and large vertebrates is being considered, in order to slow up the loss of biodiversity in the country.