This paper shares experiences of a participatory land management approach Gestion de Terroirs developed from 1986 by the Burkinabe government. The approach is based on rural community based management, and is multisectoral, multidisciplinary, village based, and flexible. Although the National Programme for Gestion Terroirs (PNGT) was implemented in 1992-1996, Burkina is only now developing a system for local government, which should come into place in 2005. Meanwhile it has a well developed system of legally recognised community structures called Village Committees for Area Management (CVGT). These can receive funds and manage development in their area. The article describes the approach of the PNGT including establishment of and support of the CVGTs, coordination of actors at different levels, promoting decentralisation, and participatory assessment of community issues using MARP (the Accelerated Method for Participatory Research). It presents the results of PNGT which covered 8 provinces and ca. 150000 people with the main investments including: social and economic infrastructure; land management strategies; agricultural support; and forest management. MARP was used to study the impact of the project, including wealth ranking, giving positive response with 73% of beneficiaries estimating improved production and 80% improved food security. There was also improved soil fertility, increased vegetation cover, increased biodiversity, increased yields, better and more community organisation, improved community capacity, and a strengthened community role in development.