14 November, 2017 – Bamboo is a crucial part of the international collaboration on climate change mitigation, according to a new report released at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change conference.
The report, called ‘South-South in Action: Inspiring Sustainable Development with Bamboo’, was coordinated by the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) and INBAR. It was released on Tuesday at the UN’s ongoing international climate change conference in Bonn, Germany.
INBAR has over the past two decades continually worked for South-South collaboration. Approximately 40 member states of INBAR fall in the Global South. This report encapsulates INBAR’s role for South-South cooperation, project impacts on livelihoods, support for climate change action; while bringing to the table knowledge and output gained as a result of this. The report was commissioned as part of the UNOSSC’s new series on ‘South-South in Action’ designed to promote action using South-South Cooperation. It focuses on bamboo’s usefulness to a range of international sustainable development and environmental goals, and highlights how countries can learn from each other about various uses and technologies.
Introducing the report at the event, UNOSSC Director Jorge Chediek said: “The cases presented in this publication represent an astonishingly diverse selection of ways in which one product – grown cheaply and abundantly in the South – can contribute to a better and more inclusive future.” He added that the UN is using South-South Cooperation as a way to address many challenges, including: improving access to sustainable and renewable energy, supporting disaster risk reduction, and strengthening food security.”
This view is shared by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). According to Eduardo Mansur, Director of the Land and Water Division in the Department of Climate at FAO, “Bamboo has rapidly gained prominence as a remarkable production material – in construction, furniture making, flooring, energy, pulp and paper, fibre, crafts, utensils and food to name a few of the many applications. It has won a reputation for its remarkable environmental properties, namely its ability to rapidly help restore land and water, improve soil quality, control erosion, and assist in landscape level adaptation to climatic changes.”
Mr. Sun Zhen, Deputy-Director-General from China’s National Development and Reform Council stressed the importance of South-South Cooperation – particularly increased policy communication, knowledge and technology transfer – to help international bamboo industries to combat climate change.
The Netherlands Ambassador for Sustainable Development, Carola van Rijnsoever mentioned the importance of bamboo’s use as a carbon sink. The Dutch government is already a key part of a trilateral cooperation project led by INBAR, which aims to improve the bamboo sectors of several countries in East Africa; something which van Rijnsoever confirmed was an important priority: “the new Dutch government will continue to integrate aid, trade and investment and trilateral cooperation projects.”
According to INBAR Director-General Dr. Hans Friederich: “Bamboo is an under-used but very strategic resource for climate change mitigation and adaptation, which grows across the tropical and subtropical world. As countries look to put into action their Nationally Determined Contributions, Aichi targets and goals under the Paris Climate Agreement, bamboo can be a vital part of the solution.”
The report can be accessed here.