Erosion control, soil fertility protection and recuperation of degraded surfaces, adaptation to climate change

Project description

Title: Erosion control, soil fertility protection and recuperation of degraded surfaces, adaptation to climate change
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Burkina Faso
Lead executing agency: Ministère de l'Agriculture et des Aménagements Hydrauliques (MAAH)
Overall term: 2013 to 2019

Burkina Faso. Preparing for the construction of erosion control systems © GIZ

Context

Burkina Faso is severely threatened by climate change. Inappropriate land use methods and increasing pressure on natural resources due to population growth have led to the degradation of agricultural land. This degradation is further exacerbated by the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events, including unfavourable precipitation patterns in terms of location and timing, extended periods of drought and heavy rains.

The livelihoods of the majority of Burkina Faso’s rural population, which primarily depends on farming, are at risk due to reductions in arable land, the loss of soil fertility, and falling crop yields. At the same time, Burkina Faso is increasingly losing its biodiversity as well as options for gathering food crops and plants from the environment in which they grow naturally without undue human influence. Utilisation pressures are intensifying competition for farmland and increasingly fuelling conflicts over water and land resources. The local population lacks the capacities and resources needed to adapt their land use methods to the impacts of climate change.

Objective

The local population in south-western Burkina Faso has an increased capacity to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Burkina Faso. View of a stone line with reclaimed agricultural land © GIZ

Approach

The governments of Germany and Burkina Faso have initiated a project entitled Erosion Control, Soil Fertility Protection and Recuperation of Degraded Surfaces, Adaptation to Climate Change, which is being financed by the German Government’s Energy and Climate Fund.

The project focuses mainly on the local and regional levels. In villages in south-western Burkina Faso, the project targets women, men and children engaged in agriculture and livestock breeding. Other cooperation partners include municipalities, technical service providers, organisations and research institutes that offer services and expertise for climate change adaptation.

Burkina Faso’s population is receiving technical and financial support to integrate into their land use methods measures that will help them adapt to the impacts of climate change. This includes measures such as protecting against soil erosion by building stone lines, improving soil quality though compost production and applying simple techniques for storing rainwater.

On behalf of the project, AFC Agriculture and Finance Consultants are advising selected rural communities on how to reclaim infertile and eroded land for cultivation and how to prevent further erosion. This approach is enabling the population to more effectively respond to the effects of climate change. The project is also supporting municipalities and service providers in integrating adaptation measures into municipal development plans and services.

Results

The project has successfully supported 28 communities in south-western Burkina Faso in integrating adaptation measures into their agricultural practices, implementing long-term erosion control systems and re-cultivating reclaimed agricultural land. Around 7,500 people have attended training courses on erosion control methods and around 11,000 have received information and advice on climate change adaptation.

In the area of corn production, for example, the average increase in yields achieved by farmers by using compost on erosion-controlled surfaces is 972 kilogrammes per hectare, which has shortened periods of food shortage by nearly one month per year.

Some 330 kilometres of erosion control systems have either been installed or repaired, and 170,000 agroforestry plants have been planted. To date, 18,000 hectares of watersheds have been reclaimed or protected.

Burkina Faso. Making preparations for greening measures © GIZ

Further information