In Burkina Faso, the implementation of the Water, Climate and Development Programme in Africa (WACDEP) enabled the Global Water Partnership in West Africa (GWP-WA) in 2015 to support the development and adoption of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) to climate change by creating a synergy of action between the community of climate and water stakeholders. GWP-WA has thus supported the effective integration of water security in the NAP. As an integral part of the National Economic and Social Development Programme (PNDES21), the NAP is a reference document for climate action and sustainable development.


Burkina Faso is a Sahelian country with a fragile economy that increases the vulnerability of its people to the adverse effects of climate change. Aware of these serious threats, the government of Burkina Faso signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1993 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2005. In the same year, it engaged the country in the process of formulating and implementing the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) to climate variability and change in order to address the urgent need for Adaptation to Climate Change (ACC). Subsequently, the government decided to develop the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) to reduce vulnerability to the impacts of climate change by building adaptive and resilience capacities and to facilitate coherent integration of ACC into policies, programmes or activities, planning processes as well as into sectoral strategies at different levels.

The NAP development process was conducted from November 2012 to May 2015 according to the UNFCCC guidelines and accounted for the results of climate change vulnerability analysis of the priority sectors identified, the climate change scenarios for the 2025-2050 and the achievements of the NAPA implementation.

In order to place water, the main vector for through which the effects of climate change (drought, floods) are felt, at the centre of adaptation strategies, the GWP-WA has worked to ensure that water security is taken into account in Burkina Faso’s NAP. This integration was achieved through the implementation of the WACDEP, a programme designed in response to the request of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) in 2009 inviting GWP to support the implementation of the Sharm El Sheikh Declaration on Water and Sanitation, adopted in 2008 by the African Union.

The initiation of WACDEP in Burkina Faso came in 2012 when the NAP formulation process had already started: the Country Water Partnerships of Burkina Faso (CWP-BF) had assessed the level of integration of water in the development process at national level by commissioning a study on water security and climate resilience which concluded a lack of integration in development planning. GWP-WA therefore identified the NAP development process already underway as one of the entry points to achieve this. The CWP-BF then initiated close collaboration with the Ministry of Water and engaged in exchanges with the coordination of the NAP development process, anchored within the Ministry of the Environment through the Permanent Secretariat of the National Council for Sustainable Development (SP/CONEDD, now SP/CNDD). These exchanges revealed the need to mobilise additional expertise and financial resources to carry out the baseline study on integrating the water issue and to lead the consultations for a quality contribution from the stakeholders concerned.

Actions taken

GWP-WA, through CWP-BF and in close collaboration with governmental actors and all stakeholders, worked on the integration of water security related aspects into the NAP, in accordance with UNFCCC guidelines, by providing technical and financial support. It was carried out in the following stages :

  • the drafting and signing of a collaboration agreement between the General Secretariat of the Ministry of the Environment and the CWP-BF concerning GWP-WA’s support for the NAP development process;
  • the sending of a letter from the SP/CONEDD to the Ministry of Water, inviting it to include water security as a priority in the NAP currently being developed;
  • mobilising the experts to analyse the draft document and identify priority actions to be proposed to strengthen the consideration of water security in the planning and implementation process of the ACC in Burkina Faso;
  • holding a series of multi-stakeholder meetings to review and refine both the sectoral NAPs and the draft NAP in the light of the consultant’s proposals and the stakeholders’ contributions;
  • the organisation of a technical working meeting of representatives of water and climate stakeholders by the Ministry of Water through the Directorate General of Studies and Sector Statistics (DGESS) in collaboration with the CWP-BF to examine in greater depth how the priorities of the water and sanitation sector are taken into account in the draft NAP and to validate the comments and proposals of the various structures of the Ministry of Water. At the end of the consultations, the stakeholders proposed an action plan to help the SP/CONEDD taking water security into account in the NAP. They insisted on a list of priority actions, including the strengthening of investments for the mobilisation, development and protection of water resources, the improvement of knowledge and monitoring of these resources in the context of climate change and the strengthening of access to sanitation. The implementation of this action plan was marked by a letter of encouragement sent by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Water to the CWP-BF in November 2013. He welcomed the synergy of action for the integration of water security in the NAP.

The NAP was adopted by the government of Burkina Faso in October 2015 after a participatory process involving stakeholders in the water and climate sectors. The NAP is an annex of the PNDES, the national reference framework for development actions in Burkina Faso for the period 2016-2020.


The NAP was adopted by the government of Burkina Faso in October 2015 after a participatory process involving stakeholders in the water and climate sectors. The NAP is an annex of the PNDES, the national reference framework for development actions in Burkina Faso for the period 2016-2020. A communication document on the NAP25 development process and its importance was published by the SP/CONEDD with the technical and financial support of the CWP-BF. It highlights the contribution from partners, including GWP-WA. The final NAP document integrated water as a key element of sustainable development at regional and national levels as well as short-, medium- and long-term measures for economic growth and human security in Burkina Faso. The adoption of the NAP has also allowed the issue of climate change and investments related to water security to be given greater prominence in the 2016- 2020 PNDES, which requires an integrated and sustainable management approach.

The approach adopted by the CWP-BF for the integration of water security into the NAP has enabled all categories of stakeholders to play their role more effectively. The quality of this collaboration was subsequently confirmed with:

  • the accompaniment by GWP-WA of the accreditation process of the Environmental Response Fund (FIE) by the Green Climate Fund;
  • the involvement of the WACDEP Burkina Faso Programme Officer among the members of the Burkinabe delegation at the Bonn Conference on Climate Change in 2017 (COP23).

Activities included in the NAP and implemented are capitalised in a global report of October 2017. However, this report notes that implementation is rather slow and inefficient due to difficulties related to organisational issues, among others:

  • insufficient synergy between the various actors and structures with the same interests;
  • insufficient monitoring and evaluation of sectoral NAPs and the NAP;
  • the lack of a framework for coordinating and guiding NAP actions;
  • the difficulty of collecting data relating to the implementation of the NAP.

A 2019 assessment by NAP stakeholders using the Stocktaking for National Adaptation Planning (SNAP) tool, which has seven criteria for assessing the success of ACC planning, shows that monitoring and evaluation and stakeholder participation capacities are weak, with values below 2 on a scale of 0-4. The criteria relating to climate information, human capacity, integration and the long-term vision and mandate for the NAP process were assessed at a medium level.

Lessons Learned

Respecting the IWRM principles advocated by GWP makes it possible, upstream of any planning, to ensure the effective participation and contributions of all relevant stakeholders. The exchanges allowed the concern of water stakeholders regarding the integration of water security to be taken into account. They were the starting point of a real consideration of water in the Burkina Faso NAP.

Integrating water security into national development planning requires a good understanding of current and future development processes and the selection of relevant entry points to achieve this.

Related IWRM Tools

Climate Change Policies


National Adaptation Plans


Vulnerability Assessment