Sustainable Asset Valuation of Land Restoration and Climate-Smart Agriculture in Burkina Faso

In this integrated cost-benefit analysis, the NBI Global Resource Centre demonstrates the potential of nature-based infrastructure to restore land and combat desertification in Burkina Faso, aiding communities with climate change adaptation and producing wide-reaching socioeconomic benefits.

By Edoardo Carlucci, Marco Guzzetti on June 4, 2024

Burkina Faso, a landlocked country in West Africa, is experiencing severe impacts of climate change: increasingly extreme rainfall and flooding events, coupled with prolonged droughts. The result is the complete devastation of agriculture, with 46% of the country's arable land now degraded. Year on year, 105,000 to 250,000 hectares of land degrades, threatening food security, health, and rural communities' well-being.

These challenges have also displaced many Burkinabè, especially as 80% of the population relies on agriculture. Displacement rates have surged by over 7,000% since 2018, making Burkina Faso one of the fastest-growing displacement regions globally.

In response, Burkina Faso's Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Finance, supported by the NDC Partnership, are proposing a land restoration project using nature-based infrastructure (NBI). Targeting the Sahel, Boucle du Mouhoun, Eastern, and Cascades regions, the project aims to regenerate 37% of the country's land, benefiting over 26,000 households and indirectly aiding over 600,000 individuals. The initiative also focuses on gender-responsive NBI, supporting nearly 8,000 women.

Using spatial analysis, climate data, Excel-based modelling, and financial analysis, this integrated cost-benefit analysis demonstrates the massive potential of NBI to restore land and combat desertification, promote sustainable agricultural practices, and reduce climate-related displacement, overall aiding communities with climate change adaptation.

We found that

  1. The nature-based and hybrid interventions perform better than the grey infrastructure alternative, while delivering further socio-economic benefits. For every USD 1 invested, NBI delivers USD 14.8 in benefits.
  2. NBI increases carbon storage, helping with climate change mitigation, generating an avoided cost of USD 28.1 million, and offering potential financing opportunities through carbon credits.
  3. NBI avoids the displacement of people from their homes, increases stability, and reduces the potential for conflicts and violence through reliable income sources and food security.
  4. The implementation of the NBI can be replicated, scaling across Burkina Faso and beyond, to effectively combat droughts and desertification and sustain rural livelihoods.