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Burundi

The République du Burundi is a landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of East Africa, bordered by Rwanda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The country is roughly the size of Belgium or the Netherlands. It is home to scores of endangered species, such as the chimpanzee, African golden cats, Carruther’s mountain squirrel, cheetah, Ruwenzori shrew and the spotted-necked otter. Bet you didn’t know all these guys existed. 


The territory of modern-day Burundi was colonised during the 1890s scramble for Africa. It was Germany who added this country (with the same boundaries of its previous political entity) to its colonial empire. After the First World War, it ceded Burundi to the Kingdom of Belgium. Both Germans and Belgians ruled Burundi and Rwanda as one entity known as Ruanda-Urundi.


Roughly 85% of the population are of Hutu ethnic origin, 15% are Tutsi. It is important to underline that Hutus and Tutsis are not tribes per se. The difference between the two people has been greatly emphasised by colonial powers to form a dominant and a dominated class.


Since independence in 1962, it has been plagued by tension between the Tutsi minority and the Hutu majority. Two civil wars and genocides during the 1970s and again in the 1990s left the country economically unstable and its population as one of the world's poorest. In 2015, violence flared again when president Pierre Nkurunziza tried to run for the third time.

An estimated total of 250,000 people died in Burundi from the various conflicts between 1962 and 1993, and another 300,000 after the assassination of Cyprien Ntaryamira and Juvénal Habyarimana, the respective presidents of Burundi and Rwanda. 


More than 90% of the population still lives in the countryside. The World Happiness Report 2018 ranked Burundi as the world's least happy nation. As the ethnic strive seem to be less intense, the situation in neighbouring DR Congo is calmer, Burundi has an opportunity to develop and finally take off as a united country. 

TOTAL POPULATION

9.9 million YEAR 2014

CO2 EMISSIONS

440 kt COUNTRY, YEAR 2014

822,800 kt Africa, YEAR 2014

“Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, beginning in 2016, compared to the business-as-usual scenario for 2030.”

PARIS AGREEMENT TARGET

Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011

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Hind Alsalloom donated € 50 to Iraqi Youth Climate Change Movement. Francesca Cardani donated € 10 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Michele Frison donated € 5 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Fabio Sai donated € 5 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Paola Tresca donated € 27 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Andrea Mongiello donated € 5 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Yordan Yordanov donated € 25 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Matteo Masi donated € 15 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Massimo Sacco donated € 10 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. 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CLIMATE SIGNIFICANCE

There are two national parks in Burundi: Kibira National Park to the northwest (a small region of rain forest, adjacent to Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda), and Ruvubu National Park to the northeast (along the Rurubu River, also known as Ruvubu or Ruvuvu). Both were established in 1982 to conserve wildlife populations.

Lake Tanganyika lies at the Western border of Burundi. It is the second oldest, second largest and second deepest freshwater lake in the world. 

Due to its dense population (second densest Sub-saharan Africa), the country is almost entirely deforested and woodlands are dwindling at an alarming rate of 9% per year. The main reasons for deforestation and soil erosion are predominantly farming and overgrazing. Cattle ranching plays a key role in the Burundi culture. A traditional Kirundi greeting is “Amashyo,” which means “May you have herds of cattle.” Cattle are a symbol of health, happiness, and prosperity.

Burundi’s objectives are clear: it needs to ensure food security and get ready for prolonged and more extreme floods and droughts. Water availability for agricultural activities will be influenced by the decrease of Lake Tanganyika’s water level, which is already resulting in desertification of the area and salinization problems. Extreme floods and droughts are predicted to cause a yield decline of 5-25% in coming decades.

The country’s motto is “Ubumwe, Ibikorwa, Iterambere” which means “Unity, Work, Progress”. For Burundi to address the environmental, economic and societal issues it faces, the country must take this to heart.

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DATA INSIGHTS

According to the World Bank classification, Burundi is a low-income country. To  get a sense of Burundi’s position in the fight against climate change, it is helpful to observe its history of carbon emissions and exposure to climate risk. The following plots give an overview of Burundi’s historic greenhouse gas emissions in perspective with global emission levels, as well as the country’s relative vulnerability and preparedness to climate change.

Burundi Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Burundi’s timeline of total GHG emissions and the percentage change from 1990

This plot combines 3 pieces of information measured from 1990 - 2012: The bar chart indicates the volume of the country’s GHG emissions, the dotted line shows the variation of this volume compared to the baseline 1990, and the full line presents the same variation, but globally.


Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and fluorocarbons are the main drivers of global warming. Between 1990 and 2012, the world’s emissions grew by 40%. 


From 2000 to 2008, Burundi’s emissions dramatically increased by more than 80%, driven largely by methane emissions from agriculture. Overall, Burundi’s GHG emissions increased by 123% between 1990 and 2012. The land-use change and forestry (LUCF) sector (involving forest clearing, burning of biomass, slash and burn agriculture) is responsible for the largest share (41%) of Burundi’s emissions, followed closely by the agriculture sector 40%. Methane (the principal greenhouse gas alongside CO2) from livestock digestion and manure is the major contributor to Burundi’s emissions.


Despite having a strong growth in emissions, Burundi made only a small contribution (less than 0.1%) to 2012 GHG emissions in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, there is still room for improvement. As deforestation and cattle ranching account for the majority of Burundi’s emissions, these should be key areas of focus to reduce the country’s emissions. (Source: WRI, 2018; World Bank, 2018)


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Burundi Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Burundi’s timeline of total GHG emissions and the percentage change from 1990

graph

This plot combines 3 pieces of information measured from 1990 - 2012: The bar chart indicates the volume of the country’s GHG emissions, the dotted line shows the variation of this volume compared to the baseline 1990, and the full line presents the same variation, but globally.


Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and fluorocarbons are the main drivers of global warming. Between 1990 and 2012, the world’s emissions grew by 40%. 


From 2000 to 2008, Burundi’s emissions dramatically increased by more than 80%, driven largely by methane emissions from agriculture. Overall, Burundi’s GHG emissions increased by 123% between 1990 and 2012. The land-use change and forestry (LUCF) sector (involving forest clearing, burning of biomass, slash and burn agriculture) is responsible for the largest share (41%) of Burundi’s emissions, followed closely by the agriculture sector 40%. Methane (the principal greenhouse gas alongside CO2) from livestock digestion and manure is the major contributor to Burundi’s emissions.


Despite having a strong growth in emissions, Burundi made only a small contribution (less than 0.1%) to 2012 GHG emissions in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, there is still room for improvement. As deforestation and cattle ranching account for the majority of Burundi’s emissions, these should be key areas of focus to reduce the country’s emissions. (Source: WRI, 2018; World Bank, 2018)


Burundi Climate Vulnerability and Readiness (CVRI)

Burundi’s vulnerability and readiness to combat climate change

This graph ranks a country’s climate performance by measuring its readiness (x-axis) and its vulnerability (y-axis). Both are measured from 0 - 1 (1 being the most ready or most vulnerable). This index combines indicators of a country’s exposure to climate change and others that measure the country’s potential to withstand those shocks. 


Each dot in this plot represents a country. The countries in most urgent situations are on the top left of the graph whilst the most resilient ones stand at the bottom right.


Burundi is categorised as a country with high vulnerability to climate change impacts and a low level of adaptation capacity. Burundi’s food and health sectors show the highest vulnerability to climate change. Agricultural output is at great risk, and this means Burundi may face increased food insecurity in the future. As one of the five poorest countries in the world, Burundi has an extremely low capacity to adapt to climate change. (Source: ND-GAIN, 2018)


The impacts of climate change vary by country and region. But wherever you are, local-level adaptation projects are necessary. You have all the cards in hand, now go explore our live projects and be one of the good guys.

TAKE ACTION

Burundi Climate Vulnerability and Readiness (CVRI)

Burundi’s vulnerability and readiness to combat climate change

graph

This graph ranks a country’s climate performance by measuring its readiness (x-axis) and its vulnerability (y-axis). Both are measured from 0 - 1 (1 being the most ready or most vulnerable). This index combines indicators of a country’s exposure to climate change and others that measure the country’s potential to withstand those shocks. 


Each dot in this plot represents a country. The countries in most urgent situations are on the top left of the graph whilst the most resilient ones stand at the bottom right.


Burundi is categorised as a country with high vulnerability to climate change impacts and a low level of adaptation capacity. Burundi’s food and health sectors show the highest vulnerability to climate change. Agricultural output is at great risk, and this means Burundi may face increased food insecurity in the future. As one of the five poorest countries in the world, Burundi has an extremely low capacity to adapt to climate change. (Source: ND-GAIN, 2018)


The impacts of climate change vary by country and region. But wherever you are, local-level adaptation projects are necessary. You have all the cards in hand, now go explore our live projects and be one of the good guys.

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