Rebuilding the local landscape: environmental management in Burkina Faso

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Ashgate, 1999 - Nature - 172 pages
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This book examines land use change and natural resource management in the province of Sissili in Southern Burkina Faso - an area that has seen widespread immigration caused by Sahelian droughts since the 1960s. This immigration caused concern amongst development professionals about the future of economic and environmental sustainability in the province. However, over a period of two years of close contact with the farming communities, adaptive and innovative actions were noted as people developed new resource use patterns to safeguard both environment and livelihood. The book examines various aspects of the production and livelihood systems of indigenous and immigrant ethnic groups and shows that:a) The purpose of the emerging new resource use arrangements is to guarantee subsistence for all.b) Negotiation between ethnic groups and communities is the mechanism that guarantees subsistence.c) Landscapes (lifescapes) are not static but are created through assimilation of information and different farming systems.d) The objective of local production systems is to maximise livelihood subsistence and to minimise negative environmental impacts which threaten long term sustainability.e) The resource use system needs to be understood in both a historical and a local context, with specific reference to the economy of affection.These conclusions were drawn from the study of three villages in Sissili, using detailed ethnographic and participatory research methods. The theoretical and practical angle of this study is that farmers manage their local resources to maximise livelihood opportunities, altering landscapes to suit their own purposes.

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The Resilience of the Peasantry in Burkina Faso
The Province of Sissili
Culturally Locating Production Patterns

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