By 2030, Burkina Faso aims to create strong and inclusive growth for the structural transformation of its economy,.


Nationwide mobilization

Multi-stakeholder Working Group on Integrating Biodiversity into Economic Development

December 21-23, 2021


In July 2021, Burkina Faso established an apolitical platform, the Multi-Stakeholder Working Group for the Integration of Biodiversity into Economic Development (GTMIBE), to reverse the trend of biodiversity degradation through constructive dialogue, information sharing and collaboration. This working group, chaired by the CBD National Focal Point, met in late 2021 in Koudougou to define its intervention strategy and adopted a three-year action plan with a budget of 305 million CFA francs organised into 5 objectives :

  • Promotion of the working group’s activities
  • Capacity building
  • Dissemination of knowledge for biodiversity mainstreaming
  • Promotion of multisectoral cooperation
  • Monitoring, evaluation and learnings of the implementation of voluntary commitments
Meeting of the workshop for the elaboration of an action plan for the GTMIBE in Burkina Faso

Diagnosis: issues

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.

1.647 species

assessed (including 3 endemic ones)

48 species

threatened (including 3 endemic) according to the IUCN Red List (2021-1)


Climate change – drought
Agriculture – annual and perennial non-timber cultivation
Use of biological resources – hunting and trapping of wild animals
Pollution – Agricultural and forestry effluents

Key points

The restoration of habitats has a particularly high potential for the survival of the species in the country. 

Therefore, ecological restoration actions through the targeted reduction of threats from livestock rearing, non-timber annual and perennial crops (cash crops in particular) and from agricultural effluents have significant potential to reverse anthropic pressure on biodiversity in Burkina Faso.

These results are the scientific basis for the stakeholder meetings to select the 3 engagement areas.

  • Agriculture: cotton cash crop
  • Livestock rearing
  • Mining sector: gold extraction
Cloud of the most frequently used words in the report of the national biodiversity threat assessment in Burkina Faso

Report – Burkina-Faso national biodiversity threat assessment (FR)

Policy brief – Recommendations to mainstream biodiversity into economic sectors in Burkina-Faso (FR)

Video – Speech by Simeon Sawadogo, Minister of the Environment of Burkina-Faso (FR)

Dialogue: stakeholders

Gold Industry

Extractive industries (particularly gold mining whose main ore is gold) accounted for 12.7% of Burkina Faso’s GDP in 2020. Industrial gold mining reached 62.14 tons in 2020, and artisanal production is estimated at 9.5 tons a year.

The combination of national legislation and international conventions provides a framework for gold mining that is aligned with sustainable development.  However, there are still gaps. These include the lack of consideration of biodiversity concerns in environmental assessments, the absence of national and sectoral strategies for biodiversity conservation and a lack of technical tools for monitoring and evaluation.  Moreover, legislation is not fully enforced due to the high number of artisanal sites that remain uncontrolled. At the same time, driven by significant reforms designed to boost economic growth in the sector, gold mining is putting strong pressure on land and on natural resources.

Mining activities represent a threat to natural ecosystems, in part because of direct impacts such as deforestation, pollution and degradation of natural resources. There are also indirect impacts caused by the construction of roads, which is opening up access to previously remote and unspoilt areas and exposing them to threats such as poaching. There are other economic and biodiversity costs inherent to the gold industry: 571,000 hectares of arable and pasture land have been lost due to mining operations. Meanwhile, the costs of environmental damage and inefficiencies in gold mining are estimated to represent 12.6% of the added value of the sector, or 0.28% of Burkina Faso’s GDP.

Avenues for commitments

  • Mining companies: support the management of protected areas, undertake and maintain reforestation once mining operations are completed 
  • Mining companies and artisanal miners: improve practices (especially the limitation of pollution)
  • State: improve the identification, supervision and support for artisanal sites


  • Institutional stakeholders: central government, national regulatory agencies (ANEEMAS, BNAF, ONASSIM, ANEVE) and local authorities
    Official role in regulatory oversight, supervision of industry stakeholders, monitoring and control of activities, environmental surveillance and monitoring
  • Mining companies 
    Mining activities, implementation of own environmental policies, CSR initiatives, adherence to international standards
  • Semi-mechanized operators and artisanal miners
    Mining activities, contribution to an environmental preservation and restoration fund, grouping into structured and functional professional organizations
  • Gold traders
    Good knowledge of miners, essential for addressing the issues of smuggling and mercury trading
  • Civil society organizations
    Civilian monitoring of compliance with national regulations and international commitments, awareness-raising and communication, regulatory oversight
  • Traditional authorities
    Local legitimacy, hold the “social licence” to operate

Access to all documentary resources of BURKINA-Faso