Linking science and policy for climate change adaptation: The case of Burkina Faso : A stocktaking of the integration of scientific information on climate change into national adaptation and development policies

University essay from KTH/Hållbar utveckling, miljövetenskap och teknik

Abstract: Africa, especially tropical West Africa, is increasingly affected by climate change making it one of the most vulnerable regions in the world. Developing countries, including Burkina Faso, are severely hit due to their high exposure to climate stress and low adaptive capacity. Adequate climate change adaptation policies and plans are therefore essential to increase their resilience. This master thesis research project focuses on the science-policy interface for climate change adaptation in Burkina Faso, more precisely on how scientific information on climate impacts and adaptation is produced and integrated into policy formulation at a national level. The document analysis and the interviews conducted with ministerial technical units, independent academics, research agencies, civil society organisations and technical and financial partners confirm that climate change is a major threat to Burkina Faso and its impacts are increasingly being felt across numerous sectors. The recently elaborated National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) prove that adaptation has gained importance on the political agenda. However, the scientific basis of these documents and other sectoral development policies remains weak. It was identified that this was mainly due to a lack of financial and human resources, gaps in existing data and difficult access to this data. In addition, there is a need for increased awareness on the issue of climate change across all levels, institutionalisation linking researchers and policy-makers, capacity building of the stakeholders and dissemination of scientific information with the support of knowledge brokers. Reinforcing this science-policy interface would allow Burkina Faso to anticipate the impacts of climate change and plan adaptation measures accordingly, ultimately reducing the risks its population is exposed to.

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