Libreville — Burkina Faso, benefitting from the close support of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank, has successfully become a member of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF).
This now qualifies Burkina Faso as a REDD country and, with the award of a US$3.8 million grant, allows it to put in place the necessary policies and systems needed to effectively operationalize the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD ) mechanism, according to a statement issued by AfDB on Friday.
It said this marked a significant step forward for Burkina Faso, a Sahel country where wooded areas and forests cover approximately 13 million hectares, roughly equivalent to 43 per cent of the total land area, and forest reserves account for almost 4 million hectares.
The statement said despite these abundant forest resources, annual deforestation was estimated to be 107,000 hectares per year, while degradation was estimated at 0.5 million hectares per year.
It noted that much of this deforestation and forest degradation was driven by a complex array of factors but included socio-economic, political, technological and cultural factors.
With Forestry Investment Programme (FIP) and FCPF support, Burkina Faso is putting in place a national REDD strategy to address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation.
These include land-use planning in order to facilitate the most appropriate land use for each of the many different activities that take place in a rural setting; security of land tenure management of agricultural-sylvicultural-pastoral systems; and a cross-cutting component of national capacity-building harmonization of policies, and promoting good governance of natural resources, and forests in particular.
The statement said Burkina Faso's approval as a REDD country had been greatly assisted by its experience with the Forest Investment Program (FIP) of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF).
The AfDB and the World Bank assisted Burkina Faso with the preparation of its FIP Investment Plan which won approval in November of 2012 and dedicated US$30 million to promote the sustainable management of forest resources.
"With the combination of FIP and FCPF support, Burkina Faso is now poised to take great strides to arrest the deforestation and forest degradation threatening its globally recognized forest resources," the statement said.