Local planning process in Burkina Faso integrates P-E linkages, and the government reviews the cost of unsustainable chemical management
Burkina Faso’s economy is mainly based on mining, agriculture, livestock and fishery and 85 % of the population is estimated to be dependent on natural resources. Since 2010 PEI has supported the government of Burkina Faso in their pursuit of accelerating sustainable productivity and growth, through the mainstreaming of poverty and environment links into strategic planning processes and budgets.
To support implementation at the local level of the government’s commitment to reduce poverty through sustainable management of the environment and natural resources, PEI assists the local authorities in the Po Region to develop Agenda 21 activities. Following these efforts a local Agenda 21 including poverty and environment objectives was approved and validated in April 2013. The agenda will be the key document guiding local authorities’ efforts towards sustainable development in the Po region.
Mining and cotton are two of the key strategic sectors in Burkina Faso. To boost production artisanal and industrial producers in the mining sector use significant quantities of harmful chemicals and similarly farmers in the cotton sector use fertilizer and pesticides. This has tremendous consequences on the short, medium and long term production, environment and human health. To address this concern the government, supported by PEI and the UNDP-UN Environment program on sound management of chemicals, has conducted an economic assessment on the cost of unsustainable chemical use and management.
The assessment suggests that the total cost of unsustainable chemical use and management is $24.2 million/year in the artisanal mining sector and $9.3 million/year in the cotton sector. The figures have taken into account the costs arising from the negative impact unsustainable use and management of chemicals has on human and animal health, soil quality, biodiversity, water quality and waste. Out of the total cost, 64 % in the artisanal mining sector respectively 32 % in the health sector is recorded for human health further illustrating the poverty-environment linkages. The assessment shows that improved chemicals management in Burkina Faso could recover an economic loss of 0.35 % of the annual GDP.
Following the study, the government has begun revising existing legislation related to chemicals and has developed a manual outlining legal actions and enforcement measures (Manuel de Police Enviromental) to safeguard livelihoods and health for rural and urban populations across the country.