Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 277–295 | Cite as

Consumptive values and local perception of dry forest decline in Burkina Faso, West Africa

  • Souleymane ParéEmail author
  • Patrice Savadogo
  • Mulualem Tigabu
  • Jean Marie Ouadba
  • Per Christer Odén


Traditional ecological knowledge and local experience of resource management and the usefulness of plant species can make important contributions to attempts to understand forest ecosystems and to develop effective sustainable management strategies for them. Therefore, the utilization of tree species by local people, their perceptions of changes in the surrounding forests, and suggested solutions for associated problems, were studied in the Sissili province of southern Burkina Faso. Information was collected through a combination of participatory rural appraisals, household interviews, and observational methods. Principal component analysis was used to analyze the consumptive values of woody species and their respective parts. A total of 82 species were identified, 90% of them were used for medicinal purposes, 78% for fodder, 73% for food, 67% for house construction, and 58% for wood carving. This suggests that forests play a key role in sustaining the rural livelihood and contributing to poverty reduction. The various stakeholders perceived that vegetation clearing for cultivation of cash crops (agribusiness) was the main driver of the change in forest cover. Species reported to be declining in the area included Parkia biglobosa, Pterocarpus erinaceus, Afzelia africana, Bombax costatum, Tamarindus indica, and Diospyros mespiliformis. Thus, a concerted effort should be made to manage the remaining natural forests in the country. Appropriate management strategies should be developed jointly by the local communities and external support groups to integrate the valuable local knowledge about forest species with the stakeholders’ suggestions in order to promote sustainable management of the region’s forest ecosystems.


Local perception Forest dynamic Socio-cultural factors Burkina Faso 



This study was funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). Thanks are due to Pascaline Lingani, Issa Ouedraogo, and Siaka Nébié for their continuous support in the field work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Souleymane Paré
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Patrice Savadogo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mulualem Tigabu
    • 1
  • Jean Marie Ouadba
    • 2
  • Per Christer Odén
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Forest Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research CentreSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesAlnarpSweden
  2. 2.Département Productions Forestières, Institut de l’Environnement et de Recherches AgricolesCentre National de la Recherche Scientifique et TechnologiqueOuagadougou 03Burkina Faso

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