[BURKINA FASO] [SAHEL DESERTIFICATION NETWORK] Identify projects contributing to Neutrality in terms of Land restoration Land restoration by women contributing to Land Neutrality

Réseau Sahel Désertification (Sahel Desertification Network) is composed of four national civil society platforms in Burkina Faso (SPONG), in France (GTD), in Mali (GCOZA) and in Niger (CNCOD) and is coordinated by the NGO CARI. It aims to improve sustainable land management in Sahel, by strengthening and pooling capacities of stakeholders intervening at the grassroots level (CSO, local government) and by mobilizing stakeholders, so that their land related concerns are heard and considered by international decision-making instances. Under its advocacy actions, the ReSaD thus took interest for SDG 15 about life on earth and more particularly to its target 15.3 which aims to reaching by 2030 a neutral world in terms of land degradation. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification positioned itself for the achievement of this target and asked state parties to draft action plans for reaching neutrality in terms of land degradation, according to three indicators that are:

  • Land use
  • Land productivity
  • Carbon storage in the soil

On its side, ReSaD aims to bring to light initiatives promoted by civil society, which enable contributing to attaining neutrality, so that these organizations and their practices are considered in the achievement of their national and international action plans aiming to neutrality. SPONG, which represents ReSaD in Burkina Faso was involved in technical committees and the monitoring process for drafting the Land Neutrality action plan implemented by the government in 2017. This action plan determines as main target to restore by 2030, 5.16 million hectares, that is 19% of the national territory. This objective is coupled with three specific targets:

  • To stop forest conversion into other types of land use by 2030.
  • To improve the productivity for some land use categories « shrubs, grasslands » and « lands cultivated » declining, that 2.5 million hectares.
  • To improve carbon stocks on 800,000 ha to reach minimum 1% of organic matter (input of 5 tons of organic matter per hectare every 2 years).
  • Recovery of 300,000 hectares of bare land out of 600, 000 hectares.

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Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.