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Bamboo for land: the FAO at BARC

INBAR News
11Apr

INBAR and the Food and Agriculture Organization are very pleased to organise a ground-breaking discussion about the use of bamboo for erosion control and land restoration.

In response to the ambitious Bonn Challenge, in 2014 INBAR’s Member states committed to restore at least 5 million hectares of degraded land using bamboo. However, despite the fact that bamboos have already been extensively used in many national and sub-national restoration programmes, there is still very little public information available about bamboo-based landscape restoration initiatives, and what can make them successful or not. This lack of experience has hampered the use of bamboo for land restoration across INBAR Member States.

In answer to these challenges, in 2018 the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), INBAR and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) conducted a synthesis report on bamboo for land restoration. The report explores ten case studies – from China, Ecuador, Ghana, India, Nepal, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Thailand – to assess the ecological and socio-economic viability of using bamboo for land restoration. It also provides key lessons learned and recommendations for using bamboo for land restoration initiatives.

This report will be launched at the Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress (BARC 2018) in June. At the conference, FAO’s Director of Land and Water, Dr Eduardo Masur, will introduce the report within the context of the global FAO programmes for land, water and climate change, while INBAR’s Coordinator for the Global Assessment of Bamboo and Rattan will explain the potential of bamboo for land management.

The session, called ‘Bamboo for land restoration and the Bonn Challenge’, will also discuss several case studies in the report: from Rwanda’s successful pilot of bamboo as a buffer along its rivers, to the Nepal government’s programme for land restoration using bamboo and community-driven bamboo enterprise development in Tanzania. The authors will reflect honestly on the challenges and opportunities of using bamboo, and how to transfer best practices to other countries.

As well as this important discussion, INBAR and FAO are planning to sign a Memorandum of Understanding at BARC 2018, which commits them to future cooperation in Africa, using bamboo for environmental protection and land restoration.

To find out more about more about our sessions on land restoration, and to register for BARC, click here.