INBAR chief: use bamboo in construction as nature based solution

07Jan 2022
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
INBAR chief: use bamboo in construction as nature based solution

THE International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation has said use of bamboo and rattan in construction of structures is a solution for sustainable development objectives -

- since 1997, long before the words ‘SDGs’ or ‘nature-based solutions’ were commonplace.

INBAR Director General, Ambassador Ali Mchumo said in a recent report that in order to create a fairer and more sustainable future, there is need to treat all global challenges as interconnected, and deal with them together.

“It would be self-defeating, for example, to tackle poverty alleviation without also combating the root causes of climate change, which threaten to make poverty an endemic problem in many parts of the world,” Mchumo said in a magazine articles published by INBAR.

He said bamboo and rattan offer some brilliant examples of ‘win-win’ solutions because they are fast-growing, self-regenerating and versatile, hence offer a critical source of income, energy and construction material for people in rural communities, as well as a tool for restoring degraded land, storing carbon and reducing emissions.

“They can be used to help solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges, including climate change, land degradation, deforestation, rural poverty and plastic pollution. Bamboo and rattan update was conceived to bring together the most important news, views and activities about these plants,” he added.

Ambassador Mchumo further noted that new research findings and projects with focus on the people who are using bamboo and rattan to help improve the world around them. “In this special first issue, we highlight two people who have contributed most to the field of bamboo for sustainable development. In his feature, Professor Walter Liese, the ‘grandfather of bamboo’, reflects on the changes in the bamboo sector since his career began in the 1950s,” the INBAR DG noted.

He pointed out that as Professor Liese shows, people’s understanding of the plant, and how it can be used, has changed dramatically in the last few decades, opening up a whole range of new possibilities for sustainable development.

“Many of bamboo’s new materials and uses would not be possible without the pioneering work of researchers, such as Professor Liese, who have identified key features about bamboo’s structure and properties,” Mchumo noted.

Looking to the future, the Director of the International Centre for Bamboo and Rattan, Professor Fei Benhua also provided valuable insights into some of the key developments which are reshaping China’s bamboo businesses.

“From bamboo ‘scissors’ which make it easier to harvest plants, to new durable engineered materials, China’s bamboo sector is constantly providing innovative solutions. Professor Fei shows how China’s research and development into bamboo, as the largest, and most innovative, bamboo economy in the world, has important implications for other countries, including many of INBAR’s member states,” he added.