Interesting role of bamboo and rattan

Photo credit: SciDevNet

Copyright: G.M.B. Akash/Panos

Use bamboo in sustainable development

by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

“Modern bamboo houses are more flexible in an earthquake, as they flex and absorb some of the energy.” – Hans Friederich, International Network for Bamboo and Rattan

Speed read

  • Bamboo can grow three times faster than trees and could be used for bioenergy
  • It captures a lot of carbon and can be turned into charcoal and building materials
  • But to make the most of it governments must plan their forestry policies well ahead

Governments should pay more attention to the role that bamboo and rattan can play in building more sustainable and greener economies, a pressure group has told a UN meeting.

“Bamboo and rattan are not always seen as tools to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals. We believe they bring major opportunities,” the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), an intergovernmental group based in Beijing, China, told the UN Forum on Forests in New York, United States earlier this month

For example, bamboo can reduce soil erosion and restore degraded lands, and ultimately help protect the livelihoods of people who depend on forest ecosystems. Products derived from the two plants could also bring income to millions of people in developing countries, the group says.

Read the full article: SciDevNet

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.