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Discussing bamboo, BARC and Europe

INBAR News
25May

Representatives from INBAR Member states and European countries attended INBAR’s final pre-Congress event

Bas Pulles, Deputy Head of the Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Hans Friederich, Director General, INBAR

24 May 2017 – Embassy representatives from Member states of INBAR and the European Union, including the Ambassadors for Burundi and Cameroon, were among those attending an event on ‘Bamboo, Rattan and the SDGs: the road to the Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress’, co-hosted by INBAR and Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Beijing.

With one month to go until the start of the Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress, BARC 2018, the event aimed to highlight the main discussion topics at BARC, and discuss how European countries could be an important part of INBAR’s overall mission: to achieve sustainable development using bamboo and rattan. INBAR Director General Dr. Hans Friederich introduced attendees to the global congress and highlighted a few impacts of the ongoing Dutch-Sino-East Africa project, which transfers Chinese and Dutch expertise in value-added bamboo trade to Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. Mr. Bas Pulles, the Deputy Head of Mission for the Embassy of the Netherlands, described the number of ways in which the Netherlands engages with bamboo – from high-end bamboo commodities to food for their resident giant pandas. Mrs Dai Guangcui also spoke on behalf of the China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration, the co-organiser of BARC, about the Chinese government’s support for bamboo sector development, as evidenced through H.E. Xi Jinping’s letter of support to INBAR in 2017.

Credit: MOSO BV Ltd. Bamboo flooring and furniture is becoming increasingly popular across Europe.

As Dr Friederich’s presentation at the event showed, European involvement is an increasingly critical part of INBAR’s work. According to the most recent INBAR research, countries in the European Union comprise the largest import group for bamboo and rattan products, importing some USD 510 million-worth in 2015 alone. With growing demand for engineered bamboo products such as flooring and housing, this international bamboo market could benefit many of the millions of rural poor who live with bamboo. However, insufficient political and financial support to domestic bamboo and rattan sectors, combined with a lack of knowledge about international standards and markets, means that many countries are not realising the full potential of their native bamboo and rattan plants.

By sharing knowledge, technologies and standards across countries, INBAR is helping its Members to grow their bamboo and rattan sectors and increase the value of the products they sell – contributing to poverty alleviation, green growth and more sustainable consumption. In turn, European companies can have access to sustainable supply chains, which support South-South cooperation and promote trilateral partnerships.

To find out more about BARC 2018, and to register, click here.