Burkina Faso


274,000 km²


11,849,520 (2005)


Due to its geographical position, the climate of Burkina Faso is tropical, alternating between a short rainy season and a long dry season. There are three climatic zones: the Sahel in the north, with average annual rainfall below 600 mm, the Sudan-Sahel in the center, with an average annual rainfall between 600 and 900mm, and the Sudan-Guinea in the southern region, with an average annual rainfall exceeding 900mm. The rainy season lasts about 4 months. Temperatures experience strong variability.

Natural Resources:

The water resources of Burkina Faso are almost entirely dependent on rains that recharge groundwater supplies and fill in varying degrees of surface water lakes. Terrestrial ecosystems cover 91.22% of the land; aquatic ecosystems represent only 0.26%. Woody forest flora (trees, shrubs and lianas) includes 55 families, 214 genera and 376 species (of which 95 exotic). Terrestrial wildlife is rich and diverse enough despite the state of degradation of the habitats.


The country's agricultural sector is one of the least productive in the continent. Adverse soil and climatic conditions (naturally poor soil minerals and insufficient rainfall) and degradation of soils (especially due to wind and water erosion) significantly reduce crop yields. The main crops are millet, sorghum, maize, groundnuts, cowpeas, Bambara groundnut, yam and cotton.

Climate Vulnerabilities:

It is difficult to separate the effects of climate change from those of anthropogenic factors. However, during the past four decades, extreme weather events (droughts, floods, sandstorms, temperature peaks) have become more frequent and intense, and are, therefore, real catalysts for the degradation of the biophysical environment. Frequent droughts have led to the migration of some of the populations of the central plateau to the west and the east. In addition, some crops like cotton, maize and yam have seen a decrease in production. In the field of livestock transhumance (once mostly unknown) has nowadays become a widespread practice.




Transhumance: seasonal movement of people with their livestock between fixed summer and winter pastures.