Burkina Faso

The adaptation-migration policy nexus in a drying climate

Authored by: Nakia Pearson

Routledge Handbook of Environmental Displacement and Migration

Print publication date:  March  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138194465
eBook ISBN: 9781315638843
Adobe ISBN:


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Though depicted as a recent phenomenon by modern politicians, West African migration dates back to pre-colonial times, reflecting a “mobile society responding to pressure on resources by more migration” (Iliffe 2007: 66). Examples of this fluid mobility in response to resource pressures and opportunities has long been observed among farmers searching for empty lands to plant cash and subsistence crops (Black etal. 2004; Awumbila et al. 2008). This chapter explains the relationship between drought and migration in Burkina Faso, highlighting past and present episodes, and considering policy implications for the future. It describes the complicated processes of drought and desertification, and the country’s migration trajectory linked to these environmental challenges. The chapter explores institutional shortcomings, and reflects on opportunities to develop frameworks for real policy action for the protection of environments, particularly in the context of Burkina Faso’s chronic slow-onset drought events.

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