The Citizen Space for Information and Dialogue (ECID) “Sustainable management of natural resources and the cotton sector in eastern Burkina Faso” was a space for fair and transparent debate that took place in Fada N’Gourma from Thursday 15 May through Monday 19 May 2008. It enabled a panel of 30 producers from the Eastern Region to hear expert witnesses talk about issues of natural resource management and the cotton sector. Following these hearings and the ensuing debates, the producers issued recommendations addressed to both the decentralized and national authorities, as well as to the populations of the region.
In this way, the producers were able to learn about their rights and give their opinions on various development projects and policies in their Eastern Region.
Burkina Faso’s Eastern Region is home to some of the last large natural areas in West Africa. These are progressively threatened by the growth of agriculture, in particular the cultivation of cotton, one of the rare sources of income for the populations of the region. However, natural, mainly rural resources are essential for their subsistence as well. They provide them with wood for cooking and habitat construction, game and supplementary food (honey, tubers and wild fruits, etc.), as well as important reserves for traditional medicine and spiritual landmarks that are essential to the perpetuation of local culture.
Based on this observation, the three main partners of this project: ADAP, the Interdisciplinary Biosafety Network (RIBios), and the Association for Research and Training in Agroecology (ARFA), suggested organizing a participatory forum on “Sustainable management of natural resources and cotton cultivation in the Eastern Region of Burkina Faso”. “Citizen Space for Information and Dialogue” was an original forum for fair and transparent debates, dedicated especially to producers in the five provinces of the region.
Project duration: 2007-2010
Areas of intervention
Public participation, mediation, natural resource management
- Eastern Regional Council
- RIBios – Interdisciplinary Biosafety Network
- ARFA – Association for Research and Training in Agroecology
- The expression of diversity in expertise: the expertise of researchers, farmers, NGOs, and associations with relevant experience in the field
- An open exchange of information and points of view on the topics addressed
- Producers’ recommendations for development guidelines for the region, and concrete measures to be implemented after the ECID
- Inclusion of recommendations in the Regional Council’s development plan