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  • Programme Zone AridesIssue paper no. 129

    Joost Nelen, Nata Traor,

    Moumouni Ouattara

    From colonisationto consultationRegulating use of apastoral zone inSamorogouan,Burkina Faso

    November 2004

    IP129 cov 1/12/05 4:47 PM Page 3

  • From colonisation toconsultation

    Regulating use of a pastoral zone inSamorogouan, Burkina Faso

    Joost Nelen, Nata Traor, Moumouni Ouattara

    Issue paper no. 129

    Issue Paper 129 1/12/05 4:49 PM Page i

  • About the authorsJoost Nelen and Nata Traor are advisors at the SNV Netherlands DevelopmentOrganisation in Mali and Burkina Faso. Mouminou Ouattara is ProvincialDirector of Livestock Resources in the Kndougou province of Burkina Faso.

    For further information, write to the SNV-Burkina regional office at B.P. 1206,Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso; telephone +(226) 20 97 21 91; or

    AcknowledgementsThis document was based on information provided by the local peopleand village land management commissions of Samorogouan, as well asthe administrative authorities and technical services in the department.We would like to thank them all for sharing their experiences with us.

    We are also grateful to the former SNV team in Samorogouan, DjibrilTraor, Eudoxie Sanon and Marion Veltenaar, for their determination andconfidence in this process; and to Bruno Fako Ouattara for his invaluablelegal advice. Finally, our thanks go to Thea Hilhorst, Paul Mathieu, SadouSanou, Lorenzo Cotula, Ced Hesse and Marion Veltenaar for theircomments on the draft version of the paper.

    Issue Paper 129 1/12/05 4:49 PM Page ii

  • AbbreviationsBIS Boutique dInformation de Samorogouan, SNV-Burkina,

    Samorogouan information centre, SNV-BurkinaCARC Centre dAmnagement des Ranchs Collectifs

    Centre for the development of group ranchingCEZIET Centre dEncadrement des Zones dIntensification de lElevage Traditionnel

    Supervision centre for intensification of traditional livestock rearingCIRDES Centre International de Recherche-Dveloppement sur lElevage en zones

    Sub-humidesInternational centre for research and development on livestock rearing in sub-humid zones

    CVGT Commission Villageoise de Gestion des TerroirsVillage Land Management Commission

    DAPF Direction des Amnagements Pastoraux et du Foncier (MRA)Department of Pastoral Planning and Land Affairs (Ministry of Livestock Resources)

    DEP Direction des Etudes et Planification (MA)Department of Studies and Planning (Ministry of Agriculture)

    DRA-K Direction des Ressources Animales de la Province du Kndougou (MRA)Department of Livestock Resources in Kndougou province (Ministry of Agriculture)

    FAO Food and Agricultural Organisation (UN)NRM Natural Resource ManagementGTZ German Technical Co-operationIIED International Institute for Environment and DevelopmentJO Journal Officiel du Faso

    Bulletin giving details of laws and official announcements in Burkina FasoLPDRD Lettre de Politique de Dveloppement Rural Dcentralis

    Policy paper on decentralised rural development MA Ministre de lAgriculture

    Ministry of AgricultureMRA Ministre des Ressources Animales

    Ministry of Livestock ResourcesPAAP Programme dAppui aux Amnagements Pastoraux

    Pastoral Development Support ProgrammePEOV Projet dElevage Ouest Volta

    West Volta Livestock Rearing ProjectPNGT Programme National de Gestion des Terroirs

    National Land Management ProgrammePV Procs Verbal de palabre

    Written minutes of a discussion held in the presence of a government officialRAF Rorganisation Agraire et Foncire

    Land Reform ActSNV Organisation Nerlandaise de Dveloppement

    SNV Netherlands Development OrganisationTOD Texte dOrientation de la Dcentralisation

    Overall law setting out the broad principles of decentralisationUTL Unit of Tropical Livestock

    Issue Paper 129 1/12/05 4:49 PM Page iii

  • Contents

    1. Introduction

    2. Context2.1 Local characteristics and trends2.2 Pastoral zones in Burkina Faso

    3. Historical background to Samorogouan3.1 Pre-1975: customary land rights3.2 1975-1983: the good years3.3 1984-1985: increasing migration3.4 1985-1995: agricultural activities in the pastoral zone3.5 1995-2000: the end for pastoralism?

    4. Policies and legislation in the late 1990s4.1 Land reform4.2 Legal framework for decentralisation4.3 The TOD and RAF: living apart together

    5. Formulating rules for natural resource management5.1 The first steps towards regulation5.2 Samorogouan consultative committee5.3 Developing rules for natural resource management5.4 From legitimacy to legality: sanctioned by decree5.5 CVGTs as project managers

    6. Evaluation of the formulation and sanctioning of the rules6.1 Factors favouring the decree6.2 Quality of the process

    7. Conclusions, questions and perspectives

    Appendix 1 Map of Samorogouan












    Issue Paper 129 1/12/05 4:49 PM Page iv

  • From colonisation to consultation 1

    Much has been written about the precariousness of natural resourcemanagement in Sahelian countries, and there is widespread concern thatcurrent practices, particularly in densely populated areas, are jeopardis-ing the future of renewable natural resources. However, manypublications also show that local responses to the situation are diverse,multi-faceted and encouraging at both technical and institutional levels,related to sustainable use, land tenure agreements, consultations andconventions.1 The process described in our paper confirms this, illustrat-ing how in the department of Samorogouan in Burkina Faso growingawareness of the pressure on natural resources and increasing conflictsbetween different user groups drove local actors to take steps to regulatetheir use.

    1. Introduction

    1. See, for example, other IIED Issue Papers in the same series, or collected papers on the expe-riences of GTZ (Kirsch-Jung et al., 2000 and 2003), on

    Map 1. Burkina Faso

    Samorogouan is one of the 350 administrative departments in the countryand unlike other departments in western Burkina has a pastoral zonecreated by the State in the 1970s for its pastoral planning and livestockrearing intensification projects. Many pastoralists settled in the depart-ment. The project influenced the development of the department over the

    Issue Paper 129 1/12/05 4:49 PM Page 1

  • 2 Issue no. 129

    1980s and 1990s. Introducing a pastoral zone into an area where cottonand cereal growing dominate production systems heightened the alreadyintense competition between different groups using the land and itsresources. It became, and remains, an area of high immigration. As concernabout the influx of pastoralists and then migrant farmers grew, the indige-nous population started challenging tenure agreements made by previousgenerations, attempting to recover land from incomers or retrieve landthat their parents had ceded to the State for the pastoral zone. The situa-tion deteriorated as conflicts between different user groups proliferated;not helped by the fact that the status of these land transactions undercustomary or national law has never been clarified, or that current legisla-tion is neither well known nor closely related to actual practice.

    Finding that national policies and legislation hadnt provided an appro-priate answer, local actors in Samorogouan (village authorities, farmerorganisations, decentralised services, prefecture) devised pragmatic solu-tions to improve their security of tenure. Even though national policiesand laws had at first sight little to offer them but a jumble of texts andinstitutions, the principles behind legislation on decentralisation, landorganisation and the livestock rearing and forestry sectors, give theselocal actors sufficient room for manoeuvre. They worked together on aprocess of reconciliation and consultation, and succeeded in formulatinga set of management rules that were endorsed by prefectoral decree(arrt) in 2003.

    We will analyse how the idea of creating a zone for pastoral activitiesin Samorogouan (and maintaining it in accordance with proposals for theNational Land Management Programme put forward in 2003 by theMinistry for Livestock Resources) coexists with the complex realities ofnatural resource management in Sudanian zones of West Africa. In thesezones an area or territory usually contains a variety of resources that aresubject to different modes of use and tenure regimes, and pastoralresources are frequently spread across several village territories.

    This paper discusses the problems experienced in areas used for pastoralpurposes, but it does not attempt to evaluate areas outsideSamorogouan. It considers what the ongoing process in this zone hasachieved so far. Even though structures for enforcement and control areonly just being put in place, it seems an appropriate time for a criticalreview, because the sanctioning of rules by prefectoral order constitutes amajor landmark in the process.

    Issue Paper 129 1/12/05 4:49 PM Page 2

  • From colonisation to consultation 3

    2.1 Local characteristics and trendsThe department of Samorogouan covers 121,800 hectares ofKndougou province on the far western border with the Republic ofMali (see Maps 1 and 2). Average annual rainfall in this Sudanian zone is1000 mm/pa. Some 24,000 people live in the 16 villages and five farminghamlets in the department, which is a fairly small population for this typeof zone. It does, however, have a significant demographic growth rate ofover 4.5% per annum, which is partly due to the birth rate but mainlycaused by high levels of immigration.

    The west of the country can be di