Air, waste and water pollution are major environmental problems in  Burkina Faso.   In accordance with the World Health Organization's guidelines, the air quality in Burkina Faso is considered unsafe. The most recent data indicates the country's annual mean concentration of PM2.5 is 43 µg/m3 which exceeds the recommended maximum of 10 µg/m3 [1]. The increasingly polluted ambient air quality monitoring relates to pollutants of greatest health concern public. These are fine particles of size less than or equal to 10 microns: PM10. For the city of Ouagadougou, the average value of PM10 recorded on the various sites in 2018 is much higher than the national standard which is 300 μg/m3 and 50μg/m3 which is the WHO standard. The highest value was noted at the North exchanger (1125 μg/m3).

In Burkina Faso, indoor air pollution is responsible for 8.5% of general morbidity. In 2002, there were 21,500 deaths attributable to this indoor pollution [2]. Cooking and childcare are tasks mainly reserved for women, making them and their young children vulnerable to the effects of indoor air pollution [2].

Between 2003 and 2012, GHG increased by 25%, resulting mainly from agriculture, including livestock (83% in 2012), followed by the energy sector (13% in 2012). In order of importance of the volumes emitted, these greenhouse gases are CO2, CH4, CO, N2O, and NOx. These emissions are due to human activities and contribute to global warming and the degradation of the ozone layer [3].  More specifically, emissions from the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFAT) increased by 69%, Energy by 8%, Waste by 2% and Industrial Processes and Chemical Use (IPUC) 1% [3].


In the country, pollution is mainly generated by the activities of all socio-economic sectors and are sources of risks affecting the living environment and the environment. Increased emissions are explained by the (i) increase in agricultural land use; (ii) decrease in forest land coverage and (iii) increase of livestock.


Key policies and governance approach

The Constitution of Burkina Faso with its article 29 guarantees "the right to a healthy environment is recognised. Protection and promotion of the environment are common obligations".

Burkina Faso, which is very vulnerable to the effects of climate change, has also chosen to contribute to the global effort to stabilize greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere. This commitment has materialized through the ratification of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol to the Convention and the Paris Climate Agreement. The country translated its commitment to reduce GHG emissions by submitting its Nationally Determined Expected Contribution (NDEF) on October 23, 2015, which subsequently became its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) following its ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate [3].

Several laws and regulations have been developed and adopted in the past years, related to pollution, such as the Environment code (law n° 005/97/ADP of 30th January 1997) with the adoption of sanitation and environment protection measures (on risky, unclean and inconvenient housing, on urban and rural wastes, industrial wastes produced on the national territory, foreign hazardous wastes etc.) and on improvement of urban and rural populations living environment and the Environment code enforcement texts by decree N0 2001-185/PRES/ PM/MEE (7th May 2001) setting the standards of pollutant discharge in air, water and soil and Decree N0 2001/342/PRES/PM/MEE defining the scope, content and procedure of the study and impact on environment [4]. The Health Code (Law N0 23/94/ADP of 19th May 1994) is also important, authorising certain public services to taken measures to prevent drinking water pollution and prevent reduce harmful nuisance effects [4].


Successes and remaining challenges

The level of reaching the commitment for the period 2015-2020 is 91.37% for the unconditional scenario and 24.36% for the conditional scenario. The low level of achievement of the scenario is explained by the difficulties encountered in mobilizing resources [3]

With regard to adaptation actions, the country's commitment in terms of reduction, which amounted to 43 707 Gg CO2eq in 2030, was able to reach a level of 89% in 2020. Thanks to the implementation of adaptation actions, Burkina Faso has been able to meet its commitments to reduce its GHG emissions by 2025 [3].


Initiatives and Development Plans

Following the evaluation of its first NDC, which identified strengths and weaknesses, the country carried out several activities to make its new NDC more ambitious, realistic, measurable, reportable and verifiable.

Article 4 of the Paris climate agreement provides for an upward revision of the Parties' reduction ambitions every five years. To meet this requirement, Burkina Faso has started the process of reviewing its NDC in late 2019. This revision, led by the Permanent Secretariat of the National Council for Sustainable Development (SP/CNDD), was made possible thanks to the support of the NDC Partnership and its partners.

Burkina Faso has also adopted a participatory and inclusive approach for the revision of its NDC through the involvement of public and private actors, NGOs and associations at the central and local levels, NGOs and associations, at the central, deconcentrated and decentralized levels [3].


Goals and Ambitions

Burkina Faso is committed to reducing GHG emissions by 16.25% in 2025 and by 29.42% by 2030 and 34.43% by 2050. The country is thus increasing its ambitions compared to the first NDC, which was 18.2% by 2030 [3].



  • Need for strengthening the promotion of the use of gas, improved cooking stoves in reducing exposure to indoor pollutants.

[1] IAMAT (2020). Burkina Faso General Health Risks: Air Pollution.

[2]Kafando, B., Windinpsidi Savadogo, P., Millogo, T., Sana, A., Kouanda, S. & Sondo, B. (2018). Pollution de l’air intérieur et prévalence des infections respiratoires aiguës chez les enfants à Ouagadougou. Santé Publique, 30, 575-586.


[4] Burkina Faso (2002). State of Environment Report for Burkina Faso.