PAGE partner country Burkina Faso hosted its first Green Economy Academy in Ouagadougou from 14 to 16 December 2016, bringing together more than 300 participants from the government, the private sector and civil society to learn about and advance the Green Economy agenda in Burkina Faso.
The Academy was hosted by the Government of Burkina Faso through the Ministry of Environment, with the support of PAGE, the UNEP-UNDP Poverty-Environment Initiative, Switch Africa Green and the Global Green Growth Initiative, in collaboration with the Institut de la Francophonie pour le développement durable.
Green Economy Academies represent an important tool for PAGE countries, as they give policymakers, stakeholders and interested parties an opportunity to learn from one another and develop strategies to coordinate their activities for greater impact. An exhibition on “Green Economy in practice” ran in parallel with the Academy where many pilot projects on renewable energy, waste management and Bio-products were presented to the public.
“Economic prosperity, social progress and environmental protection are inextricable and inter-linked”, said H.E. Mr Batio Bassiere, Minister for Environment, Green Economy and Climate Change of Burkina Faso, in his welcoming remarks.
“We congratulate the Government of Burkina Faso for its efforts in promoting the transition toward green economy, especially in the context of COP22 outcomes in Marrakech, and the Conference of the Partners for the National Plan for Economic and Social Development”, said UN Resident Coordinator Ms Metsi Makhetha.
“The timing is right, green economy is a burning obligation for us all in order to enable development”, added H.E. Mr Jean Lamy, EU Ambassador to Burkina Faso.
A series of nine elective sessions were held on the second day of the Academy, which tackled a variety of themes of national priority including: the greening of industry, fiscal policy reforms, sustainable trade, capacity building, green economy and climate change, green and inclusive growth, forestry policies and green jobs creation through entrepreneurship development. The different sessions benefited from the participation of PAGE and national experts and institutions alike, as well as other key actors and included a discussion on how to join efforts to move forward with the agenda within the specific areas.
As a low-income, landlocked nation in the Sahel with limited natural resources, Burkina Faso is expected to experience some of the worst impacts of climate change. The country has already faced very challenging changes in temperature, rainfall, storms and extreme weather events, which in turn exacerbates the low agricultural productivity that continues to constrain the country’s growth. On top of that, Burkina Faso remains one of the poorest countries in the world, relying heavily on the primary sector, most notably gold mining and agriculture.
Despite these challenges, the Green Economy assessment in Burkina Faso, launched by UN Environment in 2014, highlighted that greening the economy would generate GDP growth rates of USD 37-41 billion by 2050, corresponding to an annual rate of 5.1-5.3%. The greening of the economy is undeniably an appropriate pathway towards sustainable development and the elimination of poverty and job creation. The implementation of green investments would trigger robust economic growth and reduce the vulnerability of climate change, thereby mitigating economic losses.
The National Academy on Green Economy leveraged momentum created by COP22 and transformed the political will to advance a green economy in the country into action. The government of Burkina Faso is determined to mainstream green economy by drawing on the significant economic and environmental advances that the country has achieved in recent months, most notably with the ratification of the Paris Agreement and the adoption of the National Plan on Economic and Social Development. In this spirit, a first version of the National Green Economy Strategy – currently under development – was discussed and received feedback from participants during the Academy.
The Academy concluded with a high-level interactive and consultative session that brought together key stakeholders to brainstorm priorities, challenges and strategies of implementing a green economy agenda in Burkina Faso. Additionally, the exhibition side event provided a platform for community members and the government to share green initiatives, including a new eco-village being planned by the government of Burkina Faso.
For the event flyer, please click here.
For the agenda, please click here.
About the Academy Partners:
PAGE, the Poverty-Environment Initiative, Switch Africa Green and the Global Green Growth Initiative leverage their networks and key areas of expertise to provide inclusive green economy support that holistically addresses macroeconomic, socioeconomic and consumption and production challenges in Burkina Faso.