Climate Change and Women Farmers in Burkina Faso: Impact and adaptation policies and practices

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This report aims to analyse the specific impact of climate change on women in Burkina Faso's agricultural sector, and analyses how gender and women are taken into account in national adaptation and rural development policies and programmes. It examines adaptation practices aimed at women and the outcomes of such practices in terms of both gender and adaptation.
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  Oxfam Research Reports climate change and women farmers in urkina Faso IMPACT AND ADAPTATION POLICIES AND PRACTICES  Ana Mª Romero González, Adama Belemvire consultores independientes  Saya Saulière Intermón Oxfam  Author July 2011 www.oxfam.org/grow      Climate Change and Women Farmers in Burkina Faso Oxfam Research Report, July 2011 2 CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ...................................................................................... 4   1. PRESENTATION OF THE STUDY: OBJECTIVES AND APPROACH ............. 8   2. AGRICULTURE AND CLIMATE CHANGE IN BURKINA FASO ..................... 10   2.1. Climate and agriculture .................................................................... 10   2.2. Vulnerability to climate change in Burkina Faso ............................... 10   2.3. Climate change in Burkina Faso and its impact on agriculture ........ 13   3. THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON WOMEN IN THE FARMING SECTOR ............................................................................................................. 14   3.1. Women’s assets in the rural sector: access and control .................. 14   3.2. Roles, responsibilities and control .................................................... 16   3.3. The impact of climate change on women ......................................... 19   4. THE CONSIDERATION GIVEN TO THE NEEDS AND KEY ROLE OF WOMEN FARMERS IN ADAPTATION AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT PLANS 22   4.1 Analysis of the attention paid to women in the farming sector in the adaptation plan (NAPA) ........................................................................... 22   4.2. Analysis of the attention paid to climate change and gender in the National Programme for the Rural Sector (NPRS) .................................. 22   5. ADAPTATION PRACTICES AIMED AT WOMEN ........................................... 24   5.1. Horticulture project ........................................................................... 25   5.2. Project 2: Village poultry farming ...................................................... 27   5.3 Project 3: Women’s mini-farm in Gnagna .......................................... 29   5.4. Results and impacts of adaptation practices aimed at women ........ 31   6. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS ................................................. 33    APPENDIX: SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOOD METHODOLOGY ........................... 35   Sustainable Livelihoods Approach – SLA ............................................... 35   Gender analysis ...................................................................................... 36   BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................................................................................. 39   NOTES ................................................................................................................ 43      Climate Change and Women Farmers in Burkina Faso Oxfam Research Report, July 2011 3 GLOSSARY  AGSDS Accelerated Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations G&D Gender and development IDS Institute of Development Studies IO Intermón Oxfam IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature NAPA National Action Programme for Adaptation NGO Non-government organisation NPRS National Programme for the Rural Sector PS/NCESD Permanent Secretary of the National Council for the Environment and Sustainable Development SL Sustainable livelihoods UN United Nations UNDP United Nations Development Programme UNFCCC United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change W&D Women and development WB World Bank WHO World Health Organization    Climate Change and Women Farmers in Burkina Faso Oxfam Research Report, July 2011 4 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Burkina Faso’s geographical situation makes it particularly vulnerable to climate change.  As a country in the Sahel in the heart of western Africa, Burkina Faso suffers an extreme, variable climate: the same area can be affected by both flooding and drought within only a few months. The economy of this largely rural country is essentially based on agriculture and stockbreeding. According to various predictions, 1  climate change will have an impact on agricultural production and food security, and will therefore affect inhabitants of rural areas, especially those who are most vulnerable, such as women. This document aims to 1) analyse the specific impact of climate change on women in Burkina Faso’s agricultural sector, 2) analyse how gender and women are taken into account in national adaptation and rural development policies and programmes, and 3) examine adaptation practices aimed at women and the outcomes of such practices in terms of both gender and adaptation. This report combines the results of three research documents prepared by Intermón Oxfam 2  in 2010–11: ‘ Analysis of the impact of climate change on women in Burkina Faso’s agricultural sector’ , ‘ Women, agriculture and adaptation in Burkina Faso: plans and policies’ and ‘ Analysis of adaptation practices aimed at women’.  Agriculture and climate change in Burkina Faso Burkina Faso’s national economy is based on agriculture, the exploitation of natural resources and stockbreeding. Together, these three sectors are the livelihood for 92 per cent of the population, 3  and agriculture alone accounts for around one-third of GDP. 4  The vast majority of the population of Burkina Faso lives in rural areas and practises subsistence farming. Each family has a small farm for growing cereals and, very occasionally, other commercial crops. These are small, family-run farms that grow cereals for self-consumption. The climate of this Sahel country is characterised by significantly varying levels of rainfall from one year to the next, with rainfall decreasing from south to north. Climate change in Burkina Faso has led to an increase in temperatures, increased frequency and severity of extreme weather phenomena and a general decrease in rainfall. 5  According to predictive studies, 6  the sectors most vulnerable to climate change will be water, agriculture and forests. Climate change is expected to have serious consequences for both food security and the national economy. The country is particularly vulnerable to climate change due to its low level of development, its weak institutions, the degradation of its natural resources and the economy’s dependence on those resources. The impact of climate change on women The effects of climate change on a region are the same for all its inhabitants, but men and women have different assets and resources at their disposal with which to tackle these effects. Women are therefore more vulnerable, and the impact on their livelihood is greater. The degradation of natural resources as a result of climate change has a more drastic impact on women’s livelihood, since they are more dependent on ‘natural capital’ to make a living (since men are able to look for a paid job). With regard to ‘physical capital’, plots cultivated by women are more vulnerable to climate change. The land where they grow their crops, either as part of a group or individually, is usually of poorer quality. Because they do not own these plots, women do not invest in them. Moreover, they do not use adaptation techniques such as zai  pits 7   or stone walls, 8  since they do not have the necessary physical strength and support. They do not have access to the appropriate tools (which are reserved for men’s plots), and fertilisers are
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