Is rural migration a threat to environmental sustainability in southern Burkina Faso?

Issa Ouedraogo, Umea University
Mulualem Tigabu, Umea University
Patrice Savadogo, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Per Chister Odén, Umea University
Jean-Marie Ouadba, INERA/CNRST, Ouagadougou

Population pressure on the land has become the most intractable problem in the developing countries. Southern Burkina Faso has experienced rapid population growth, mostly driven by immigration of farmers. This study was carried at Neboun village in Sissili province and used satellite images acquired over 31-year period, census and survey data to capture migration patterns and its impacts on land use change. Results showed that migrant population which accounted for only 2% in 1976 shifted to 57% in 2007. Migrant people were using improved technology to progressively convert forest land to cropland. Cropland increased at an annualized rate of 0.46% to the detriment of the dense forest and woodland. Population growth was highly correlated with increasing cropland and declining forest and was driven by the relatively good soil and rainfall conditions and land availability. Implications of these findings for improving environmental management practices are discussed.

Presented in Poster Session 3: Migration, environment and spatial demography