Burkina Faso , benefitting from the close support of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank , has successfully become a member of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF). This now qualifies Burkina Faso as a REDD+* country and, with the award of a US $3.8-million grant, allows the country to put in place the necessary policies and systems needed to effectively operationalize the REDD+ mechanism. This marks a significant step forward for Burkina Faso , a Sahel country where wooded areas and forests cover approximately 13 million hectares, roughly equivalent to 43 per cent of the total land area, and forest reserves account for almost 4 million hectares. However, despite these abundant forest resources, annual deforestation is estimated to be 107,000 hectares per year, while degradation is estimated at 0.5 million hectares per year. Much of this deforestation and forest degradation is driven by a complex array of factors but includes socio-economic, political, technological, and cultural factors. With Forestry Investment Program (FIP) and FCPF support, Burkina Faso is putting in place a national REDD+ strategy to address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation: Land-use planning in order to facilitate the most appropriate land use for each of the many different activities that take place in a rural setting (farming, livestock, forestry, agricultural-sylvicultural-pastoral activities, mining, urban areas, etc.) in order to accommodate them all; Security of land tenure: Enforcement of recent laws and regulations regarding the security of land tenure in order to provide an enabling environment for investments in improved land and forest management; Management of agricultural-sylvicultural-pastoral systems: For the sustainable management of crop farming, livestock farming, and forestry within a sustainable land-use management system; A cross-cutting component of national capacity-building (in the ministries, but also in the private sector, civil society, and educational and research institutions), harmonization of policies, and promoting good governance of natural resources, and forests in particular, will be included to create favourable conditions for the implementation of these three major areas of intervention. Burkina Faso's approval as a REDD+ country has been greatly assisted by its experience with the Forest Investment Program (FIP) of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF). The AfDB and the World Bank assisted Burkina Faso with the preparation of its FIP Investment Plan which won approval in November of 2012 and dedicated US $30 million to promote the sustainable management of forest resources. With the combination of FIP and FCPF support, Burkina Faso is now poised to take great strides to arrest the deforestation and forest degradation that is threatening its globally recognized forest resources. This is very particular for a country of the Sahel. *About REDD+ : Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is an effort to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. "REDD+" goes beyond deforestation and forest degradation, and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
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