A landlocked country in sub-Saharan Africa essentially reliant on agriculture, Burkina Faso has been
considerably affected by the adverse impacts of climate change over the last 20 years. The country
has experienced severe rain decrease caused by climate change, which in turn has resulted in a
decrease in water resources and a severe degradation of and decrease in pasture land. Thus, four key
sectors were identified as being the most vulnerable to climate change: agriculture, water resources,
livestock and forests/biodiversity. The most vulnerable populations are to be found among poor rural
communities, notably women, young people and small-scale farmers.
Timelines of the NAPA preparation process in Burkina Faso
Funding for the preparation of the NAPA approved by the GEF
GEF agency approval date
NAPA preparation start
Submission of the NAPA to the UNFCCC
NAPA projects under implementation
Burkina Faso selected 12 priority activities and, in order to address a number of issues in its first
project, the country decided to adopt a concerted programmatic approach involving three components,
one of which was financed through the LDCF, with the other two adaptation initiatives financed by
other entities. Following this approach, the programme is composed of the following three
- Strengthening of national capacities: funded by the Danish International Development Agency
(DANIDA) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN);
- Strategic planning: funded by UNDP/Government of Japan;
- Six climate change adaptation pilot projects: funded by the LDCF.
The component funded by the LDCF is of a short-term nature and addresses immediate and urgent needs,
while the other two components focus on medium-term adaptation needs. Each of the six pilot projects
of the LDCF component corresponds to a village or group of villages and a project director is
appointed to each project. As implementation progresses in the six villages, the lessons learned and
best practices will be captured in order to be used in the planning of future adaptation
Project title: Strengthening adaptation capacities and reducing the vulnerability to
climate change in Burkina Faso
Number of NAPA priority activities addressed
4/12 (of which 2 only partially)
Cost in USD million (LDCF component/total cost)
First submission of the concept note (PIF) under the LDCF
GEF CEO endorsement of the project
Preparation and implementation strategy: For the vulnerability assessment, the NAPA team
identified the most vulnerable regions in the country and selected three geographical zones in which
to conduct work, each with its specificities: the first relies heavily on livestock, the second on
agriculture and the third on water resources. In each zone a couple of villages have been selected as
pilot projects and an expert specialized in the dominant livelihood (agriculture, livestock or water
resources) has been appointed to each one in order to lead further assessment work.
A LEG workshop on NAPA preparation conducted in the country in 2003 was considered particularly
useful, not only due to the guidelines provided but also because many relevant stakeholders involved
in the NAPA were able to benefit from the expertise and advice of the workshop facilitators and other
participants from francophone LDCs.
With regard to the implementation strategy, Burkina Faso has integrated the first priority activities
of its NAPA into a programmatic approach endorsed by bilateral donors.
Institutional arrangements in the country: The Rio Conference in 1992 (the
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)) was Burkina Faso’s
first introduction to the issue of climate change. It presented a great opportunity for the
country to understand the types of synergies that could be created at country level to ensure
sound environmental sustainability. Soon after the Rio Conference, a national observatory was
created in Burkina Faso and in 2006 institutional arrangements led to the establishment of a
common institutional framework in charge of implementing the three Rio Conventions (on climate,
biodiversity and desertification) and the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance
especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention) in the country.
As a result of Burkina Faso’s long-established institutional arrangements, members of the
NAPA steering committee were already working together well before the NAPA process started. The
steering committee is composed of all focal points of the Rio Conventions together with
officers from various ministries including line ministries, such as the Ministry of Planning
and Finance, some NGOs and representatives of local communities. International donors are
regularly invited to the meetings as observers.
Experience with project implementation: Because relevant stakeholders have
been actively involved in the process from the initial stages of the NAPA preparation phase is
considered to have greatly facilitated implementation. The implementation strategy adopted by
the NAPA team allowed for an almost seamless processing into the implementation of the first
project. The NAPA team also understood the procedure to access the LDCF and had extensive
previous experience in handling project proposals for other GEF-funded projects, which allowed
for a better comprehension of all steps involved in the process.
As UNDP manages most of the other technical and financial partnerships on environmental issues
and, in particular, the two other programme components, a good working relationship between the
agency and the country team was ensured. This also facilitated the implementation of the
programmatic approach, even though only one component was funded through the LDCF.
By regularly inviting donors to the NAPA steering committee meetings, Burkina Faso ensured support for
co-financing from the same donors that support the other Rio Conventions. One of the outcomes of the
concerted approach taken by Burkina Faso regarding the management of the three Rio Conventions is the
mobilization of national resources for NAPA implementation. As part of the co-financing for the third
component of the programme, the Government of Burkina Faso made a contribution of 450 million CFA
Burkina Faso’s future objectives are to intensify adaptation activities in the pilot villages
and, in light of the success achieved thus far in those villages, some donors have also suggested the
replication of best practices in other villages. The NAPA technical team currently includes a person
responsible for training the regional teams (local authorities, regional services, parishes, etc.) and
the team is planning to hire a specialist in monitoring and evaluation.
Project highlights: Burkina Faso’s choice of a programmatic approach not only
addresses urgent and immediate needs through an identified set of adaptation priorities but also allows
for the development of medium- and long-term adaptation strategies.
Revision and update: Burkina Faso is in the process of revising its NAPA to make it
more comprehensive; this work will be carried out within the second component of its NAPA on strategic
planning. The revised NAPA will look at mid- and long-term adaptation needs and, in parallel, the
country is aiming to undertake a feasibility study in the health sector.
Burkina Faso’s experience shows that well-established institutional
arrangements to deal with climate change issues in the country can greatly facilitate NAPA
preparation and implementation and foster early strategic thinking for the consideration of
medium- and long-term adaptation options.