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Land 2016, 5(3), 20; doi:10.3390/land5030020

Poverty and Environmental Degradation in Southern Burkina Faso: An Assessment Based on Participatory Methods

1
Viikki Tropical Resources Institute, Department of Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki, Latokartanonkaari 7, P.O. Box 27, Helsinki 00014, Finland
2
West Africa Regional Office (WARO), Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), 06 P.O. Box 9478, Ouagadougou 06, Burkina Faso
3
Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor 16115, Indonesia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Claudia A. Radel and Jacqueline M. Vadjunec
Received: 31 July 2015 / Revised: 27 May 2016 / Accepted: 4 June 2016 / Published: 24 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Changing Land Use, Changing Livelihoods)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [5453 KB, uploaded 24 June 2016]   |  

Abstract

The poverty and environmental degradation vicious circle hypothesis considers the poor as agents and victims of environmentally degrading activities. Despite some studies, however, there still has not been a sufficient empirical examination of the poverty-environment nexus. Based on participatory poverty assessment (PPA) methods with two hundred farm households categorized by wealth status in southern Burkina Faso, six indicators of environmental degradation and a set of land management practices were examined to answer the following questions: (i) Which households (non-poor, fairly-poor, or poorest) are responsible for environmental degradation? (ii) Does poverty constrain adoption of land management practices considered to improve the land? Results indicate deforestation is highest for non-poor farmers, and non-poor and fairly-poor farmers have higher rates of overgrazing. In addition, the entire non-poor group, mainly recent migrants to the area, occupy borrowed lands with tenure perceived as insecure, considered by farmers to be a disincentive for assisted natural regeneration of vegetation. Thus, non-poor and fairly-poor farmers participate most in activities locally identified as environmentally degrading, and the former contribute more than the latter. On the other hand, adoption of land management practices considered to improve the land is relatively low amongst the poorest farmers. View Full-Text
Keywords: poverty; tenure security; deforestation; land management practices; Burkina Faso poverty; tenure security; deforestation; land management practices; Burkina Faso
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Etongo, D.; Djenontin, I.N.S.; Kanninen, M. Poverty and Environmental Degradation in Southern Burkina Faso: An Assessment Based on Participatory Methods. Land 2016, 5, 20.

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