The Sourou Valley: Yesterday and Tomorrow

The Sourou Valley, a wetlands region in the north of Burkina Faso, was for a time considered a breadbasket for the country. However, an IUCN economic valuation study of the region's ecosystem services overturned this idea.

vallée Sourou

“The Sourou Valley: Yesterday and Tomorrow”, is the title of a new video documenting the IUCN study 'Valeur Economique de la vallée du Sourou' which revealed the economic worth and woes of this once fertile region.

The film aims to raise awareness about lessons learnt from previous environmental policies and also shedding light on the new economic potential of the Sourou wetlands.

The documentary follows key players and communities in the region, as well as interviews with experts on the value and work of restoring the wetlands’ services.

The Sourou Valley occupies 15% of Burkina Faso with approximatively 1,5 million inhabitants, who are mostly dependent on natural resources. The continued degradation of the wetlands has resulted in poor agricultural returns, leading to an overall impoverishment of the region.

The economic valuation of the ecosystem goods and services estimated an annual worth of 15 million Euro in 2009. The study revealed timber products for fuelwood and housing accounted for 37% whilst agricultural production for merely 3%, thus revealing crop production was not the major economic draw of the region.

The film, produced by IUCN’s Poverty Reduction and Environmental Management Initiative (PREMI), aims to raise awareness for the conservation community, decision makers and the general public about the economic values  and management of natural wetlands and for ecosystems development policy.

The film is available in French and English, and can be viewed on the IUCN Youtube channel here.

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Work area: 
Social Policy
Environmental Law
West and Central Africa
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