The International Network for Bamboo and Rattan launched a new program this fall to form long-lasting relationships with partners all over the world.
The INBAR Visiting Scholarship Program received its first round of 14 scholars on Oct. 9, 2013. The participants came from 11 countries across Asia, Africa and the Americas. The program targets young and mid-level government officials from INBAR member countries and potential member countries, to inform them about the benefits of sustainable development with bamboo and rattan, and to engage them in INBAR’s network. Participants received round-trip airfare, accommodation and transportation in China as part of the scholarship. “Through this program, INBAR hopes to inspire a new generation of change-makers in this field,” said INBAR Director General Dr. Coosje Hoogendoorn.
Over the two week program, participants were taken to China’s Zhejiang and Anhui provinces to witness first-hand areas known for their wealth of bamboo forests and high-quality bamboo products. For example, this gave participants the opportunity to see the ‘Bamboo Sea’ as well as factories where bamboo is processed and made into high-quality products.
Kris Sugiyanto, a participant from Indonesia, said at the closing ceremony of the workshop, “Bamboo plantation is not only useful ecologically but also economically, in this case bamboo can improve local communities’ incomes through cooperative systems.”
The participants have been invited to join INBAR’s alumni network, which provides a platform for the continuation of information exchange and cooperation among participants of INBAR courses. INBAR aims to make this visiting scholarship program an annual event and aims to organize the next session in 2014.