PAS-PNA - Science-based National Adaptation Planning in Burkina Faso

The PAS-PNA project, funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), in collaboration with Climate Analytics, runs in Burkina Faso, where its main partner is the Permanent Secretariat of the National Council for Sustainable Development (SP/CNDD). The project accompanies government and scientific actors in the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the NAP process, and engages with wider stakeholders from civil society and the private sector. The main aims of the project are to strengthen national science-policy interfaces and increase the capacity and efficiency of science-based NAP formulation in Burkina Faso and another 14 Sub-Saharan African Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

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Project Period
May 2018 – August 2019

Partner Ministry
Permanent Secretariat of the National Council for Sustainable Development (SP/CNDD)

– Scientific expert on climate impacts and adaptation – Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso


©Dr. Djibril S. Dayamba

About PAS-PNA in Burkina Faso

Sahelian West Africa, including Burkina Faso, is one of the most vulnerable regions in the world to climate change. Burkina Faso is suffering from a temperature increase faster than the global average, changes in the distribution of rainfall over time and an increase in the occurrence of extreme rainfall events and the duration of droughts. In climate change scenarios, even at moderate levels, all parts of the Burkinabe economy are shown to be at risk of being seriously impacted, in particular the vulnerable sectors of water, agriculture, livestock and forestry.

At the international level, since the Cancun Conference in 2010, the Governments of the Parties have agreed on the National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) process as a means for LDCs to identify medium- and long-term adaptation needs and define strategies and programmes to address adaptation to climate change. Burkina Faso was the first country in the world to adopt its NAP in 2015, which includes 6 sectoral adaptation plans (agriculture, animal production, environment and natural resources, energy, health, infrastructure and housing) as well as adaptation plans for cross-cutting issues women’s associations, civil society organizations and water security).

It is in this context that the Support Project for Science-based National Adaptation Planning (PAS-PNA) was initiated through the cooperation between the State of Burkina Faso and the Federal Republic of Germany to strengthen the capacity to implement the NAP process. This project was officially launched in Burkina Faso in May 2018, is funded by the BMU and is implemented by Climate Analytics and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), under the supervision of the Permanent Secretariat of the National Council for Sustainable Development (SP/CNDD) of the Ministry of Environment, Green Economy and Climate Change (MEEVCC) for the period 2018-2019. The four priority action areas of the PAS-PNA are: (i) strengthening the governance framework and integrating adaptation into development planning processes, (ii) providing scientific support to the process of formulating NAPs, (iii) facilitating target countries’ access to climate funds and (iv) making its achievements available to all African sub-Saharan LDCs through an online platform.

According to the Technical Guidelines of the LDC Expert Group, the NAP process must now be based on sound scientific knowledge (UNFCCC, 2012). This scientific knowledge is the focus of component 2 of the PAS-PNA project, which aims to strengthen the scientific basis and capacity of several sectoral and cross-cutting NAPs to further facilitate the planning and programming of adaptation measures. This includes conducting vulnerability studies jointly with Burkinabe scientific and state actors on the impact of climate change on water resources and the economy, two sectors that are seriously threatened in the face of climate change.

Project Milestones

Initial preparatory phase of the studies – May to October 2018

  • Identification of priority sectors and level of analysis for studies
  • Policy stocktaking: assessment of the process and level of integration of scientific information on climate change impacts and adaptation in national adaptation and development policies
  • General scientific stocktaking
  • Identification of priority sectors and level of analysis for the studies
    The identification of the sectors targeted by the vulnerability studies under component 2 of the project was done during a working session with the SP/CNDD in May 2018. The vulnerability studies will focus on the impact of climate change on water resources and the economy at the national level in Burkina Faso.
  • Policy stocktaking
    An assessment of national policies and strategies was carried out to determine the extent to which scientific data and information on climate change is being integrated. This study is based on a systematic review of policy documents and adaptation and development strategies (national and sectoral) and a series of interviews with state, scientific and civil society actors.
  • Scientific stocktaking
    The scientific stocktaking gathers the scientific information produced, available and used in Burkina Faso. The focus is on information and data on the impacts and vulnerability of the Burkinabe economy and the country's water resources. It also identifies gaps in the availability and reliability of scientific information in each of these sectors. The stocktaking was conducted through a series of interviews and meetings with experts in the field and a literature review of existing and used studies and databases in Burkina Faso.

In-depth vulnerability studies – October 2018 to May 2019

Discussions with experts and key stakeholders highlighted that despite a number of existing studies and databases, there is little information about the effects of climate change on the Burkinabe economy and its sub-sectors. Similarly, there are several databases and studies characterizing and modelling the availability and quality of water resources, but there is no explicit overview or knowledge of the potential effects of climate change on national water resources.
For this reason, the two in-depth vulnerability studies focus on both the analysis of current (and past) vulnerability and future vulnerability to climate change of Burkina Faso’s water resources and economic sector. They aim to: (i) identify risks/hazards and exposure levels of system components; (ii) identify relevant adaptation options; (iii) use the results to
inform Burkina Faso’s NAP process; (iv) integrate adaptation into the country’s development plans. Vulnerability studies are conducted by Climate Analytics researchers, specialized in climate impact modelling, in conjunction with a group of government and scientific actors with varied and complementary expertise, mainly in the water and economic sectors.

  • Approach used for studies
    One of the most important aspects of the approach of component 2 is the strong involvement of the national scientific community in the development of the methodology and the identification of the most appropriate databases and sources for these studies. Similarly, component 2 also aims to strengthen collaboration and exchanges between scientific actors, state actors, the civil society and the private sector on scientific issues related to climate change adaptation. The approach for conducting vulnerability studies aims to contribute to the strengthening of the scientific capacities of various national stakeholders, to enable regular updates of the NAPs and to develop scientific knowledge as a basis for long-term adaptation planning.
  • Technical workshops on vulnerability studies
    To ensure strong involvement of a group of state and scientific actors with complementary expertise, mainly in the water resources and economic sectors, for the conduction of the studies, several technical workshops will be held to bring together the relevant actors and to jointly refine the methodology (models and data used) and the focus of the studies at the national level.
    The first technical workshop on vulnerability studies organized in October 2018 aimed to involve the national scientific community in the development of the methodology and the identification of the most appropriate databases and sources for these studies. More specifically, the objectives of the workshop were to bring together climatology expertise and the community of scientific experts in the fields of economic development and water resources in Burkina Faso to: (i) jointly identify existing scientific knowledge and data; (ii) jointly identify gaps in knowledge and data; and (iii) jointly identify and discuss the most appropriate data and methodology for vulnerability studies at the national level in each of the two sectors. The workshop was divided into plenary sessions and small group work sessions to maximize participation and inclusion.

Integration of scientific results in the NAP formulation process – February to August 2019

The scientific results of the vulnerability studies will be communicated to political actors and integrated into the NAP process through the various workshops organized and reports produced. In addition, the lessons-learnt and the different approaches developed jointly with state and scientific actors will enable them to replicate this type of approach for other vulnerability studies and also to monitor the evolution of vulnerability, in order to regularly update and further develop the scientific basis for long-term adaptation planning by Burkinabe actors.

Burkina Faso timeline


Where we are now…

After the launch of the project a few months ago, the following activities have been carried out :

  • May 2018: Initial mission and first meetings with project stakeholders
  • July 2018: Mission to conduct the policy and scientific stocktakings (series of interviews)
  • July-October 2018: Preliminary vulnerability studies
  • October 2018: First technical workshop on vulnerability studies

… and where we are headed

In the coming months, the following results are expected :

  • February 2019: Workshop on intermediate outcomes
  • May 2019: Workshop on final results
  • February to August 2019: Communication of results