Burkina Faso

International Treaties

Sustainable Development

Environmental Law

Case Studies


Environmental Crime Legal Framework in Burkina Faso

    Environmental legislation in Burkina Faso is based on the country’s 1991 constitution which stipulates that:

  • "The sovereign people of Burkina Faso are aware of the absolute need to protect the environment."
  • "The wealth and natural resources belong to the people. They are used for the improvement of his living conditions."
  • "The right to a healthy environment is recognized. The protection, defense and promotion of the environment are a duty for all."

  • Law No. 008-2014 serves as a framework for sustainable development in Burkina Faso. The legislation aims to:

  • Create a unified national framework of reference to ensure the consistency of the interventions of actors through legal reforms, appropriate policies and institutions
  • Ensure economic efficiency, environmental sustainability and social equity in all development actions
  • Ensure that the right to sustainable development is guaranteed to all and that every natural or legal person has the right to participate in the decision-making process in matters of sustainable development
  • Establish the National Council for Sustainable Development (CNDD) placed under the institutional supervision of the ministry in charge of sustainable development

Featured Legislation

1998: Decree No. 98-322 /PRES/PM/MEE/MIHU/MATS/MEF/MEM/MCC/MCIA was signed, addressing the conditions for opening dangerous, unhealthy and inconvenient establishments.

1998: Order N ° 98-8 / MEE/SG/DGEF/DP was brought into force, defining the measures for the protection and conservation of fishery resources in Burkina Faso.

1999: Decree No. 99-15 /MEE/MEF/MATS was passed, fixing the fees related to the exploitation of fishery resources.

2001: Decree No. 2001-342 /PRES/PM/MEE was passed, overseeing the scope, content and procedures relating to the study and application of environmental impact notices.

2001: Decree No. 2001-185 /PRE/PM/MEE was created, establishing standards for the discharge of pollutants into air, water and soil.

2007: The Forests in Burkina Faso and Rehabilitation Plan was presented. In order to cope with the regression of forest areas, Burkina Faso has drawn up this Classified Forest Rehabilitation Plan. It is a sectoral plan with a national scope which is based on the Framework Program for the Sustainable Management of Forest and Wildlife Resources in Burkina Faso (adopted in 2006) and the Ten-Year Action Plan 2006–2015 of the Ministry of the Environment and Quality of Life, particularly in its “Forest Resources" section.

2009: Joint Order N ° 2009-073 /MECV/MAHRH was signed, regulating agricultural clearing in Burkina Faso.

2009: Law No. 034-2009 was approved, guaranteeing land tenure security in rural areas as per guidelines of the land policy. The law seeks to recognize and secure the rights of all land stakeholders (State, local authorities, rural populations holding customary land rights, private operators).

2011: The Forest Code, adopted by law n ° 003/2011, was introduced to establish the fundamental principles of sustainable management and development of forest, wildlife and fishery resources. Paragraph 2 of Article 4 states that: “… the sustainable management of these resources is a duty for all. It implies compliance with the regulations in force in terms of protection, exploitation and enhancement of the forest, wildlife and fishery heritage “.

2012: Law No. 064-2012 was passed, applying to the development, testing, production, dissemination, storage, destruction or disposal, import, export, transboundary movement, including the transit of any genetically modified organism and any product consisting of or containing a genetically modified organism.

2013: The environmental code (Law n ° 006-2013) was enacted, administering the rules relating to the fundamental principles of environmental preservation which are:

  • The fight against desertification
  • Sanitation and improvement of the environment
  • The implementation of international agreements ratified by Burkina Faso in terms of environmental preservation, prevention and management of natural and man-made disasters

2015: Law No. 036-2015/CNT on the mining code of Burkina Faso was tabled. This code aims to regulate the mining sector, to promote and encourage prospecting, research and secure exploitation of mineral resources in the service of sustainable economic and social development in Burkina Faso.

Featured Case Studies: Transnational Environmental Crime, Human Security, and Biosecurity

  • In Ouahigouya, Burkina Faso, climate change and threats of increasing violence by armed groups linked to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS) have left thousands of rural herdsmen in abject poverty. Human security and economic security are under attack as said communities have been overrun by gunmen who seek access to their limited resources. Burkina Faso is located in The Sahel region which is below the Sahara Desert; the region is one of the hardest-hit areas in the world by climate change. Approximately 80 percent of farmland has been destroyed by rising temperatures. The World Economic Forum reveals that temperatures in Burkina Faso are rising 1.5 times faster than the global average, resulting in droughts, rain, heat waves, strong winds and dust storms. The climate crisis is exacerbated by armed conflict which can be traced back to the 2012 military coup in neighbouring Mali. Armed groups have exploited the vulnerability of poor and desperate farmers in Burkina Faso, sparking a dire humanitarian crisis which has left nearly one million displaced across Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.
  • Burkina Faso is prepared to adopt policies to protect both public health and the environment after parliamentarians have reviewed the economic evidence published by the Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI), which is run jointly by the UN Development Programme and UN Environment. According to the report, artisanal miners are using mercury and other toxic substances which have serious consequences for the environment and human health. Moreover, the use of these unsustainable chemicals costs the government $24.2 million annually: the brunt of the cost is related to deteriorating human health from contaminated drinking water and prolonged exposure to chemicals. The PEI concludes that better managing these mining chemicals could result in 0.35 per cent increase in Burkina Faso’s Gross Domestic Product and improve the health of 850,000 people. The evidence has convinced the government of Burkina Faso to open an inquiry into mining titles and the social responsibility of mining companies.

References and Further Reading


Ministry of the Environment, Green Economy and Climate Change: Mr. Desire Yameogo, yanodesire@yahoo.fr