INBAR and Odisha State Forest Department organize a joint workshop to discuss findings from the 1st GABAR study in India
GABAR study findings to help in chalking the State Bamboo Policy
In a recently organized joint workshop by INBAR and the State Forest Department of Odisha, findings of the first-ever Global Assessment of Bamboo and Rattan (GABAR) study in India, conducted in the state of Odisha were shared. In Odisha, home to 13 species of Bamboo, lies a huge opportunity to harness the resource to boost local economic growth, address climate change and protect the natural environment. However, lack of evidence-based information about bamboo resources – their distribution, varieties and characteristics – has long prevented the state, like many others, from making more use of this strategic plant.
The International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR) launched GABAR in 2015. GABAR’s overall aim is to provide decision makers with robust, policy-relevant information and analysis about how bamboo and rattan contribute to these goals, and their overall potential.
In India, INBAR’s first GABAR pilot study was conducted in Odisha, in 2016. The study carried out by Mr. Arun K. Bansal, IFS (retd.), Former Additional Director General Forests, MoEFCC, India is based on the analysis of published reports, documents and research findings. The data has been authenticated and validated through field visits and interaction with the forest department officials, bamboo growers, artisans and entrepreneurs.
During the one-day workshop, the study findings were shared with the various stakeholders including the State Forest Department, entrepreneurs, bamboo producers etc. The objective of the workshop was to bring together the stakeholders and discuss the various challenges and the opportunities available in the state in order to be able to chalk out a Bamboo Action Plan for the state.
In his address, the state PCCF Mr. S S Srivastav acknowledging the potential of Bamboo suggested that the study findings will help the State Forest Department in identifying the Industry specific bamboo processing zones, which can then be further strengthened to provide livelihoods opportunities to the rural communities.
Mr. T P Subramony, Regional Director (SARO), INBAR gave an overview of GABAR and its importance. He highlighted that, “India with the second largest reserves of Bamboo in the world, needs to tap the potential of this naturally abundant resource.” He explained that in order to do so, it is essential to collect, share and analyse the data effectively to inform decision makers.
The study findings were presented during the workshop by the Study Investigator Mr. Bansal who reaffirmed that GABAR can offer solutions and practical options to guide national green development action plans – to unlock the potential of Bamboo and Rattan for communities. He shared the study findings and stressed on the need for strategic planning in the state in order to strengthen the bamboo sector. Among his recommendations were, evolving plantation models for different regions (intercropping with bamboo), redefining bamboo management to facilitate working of bamboo forests to produce appropriate raw materials for different end products, introducing bamboo in university curriculum, conducting detailed surveys of bamboo resources etc.
The State Forest Department will be preparing a draft action plan for the state on the basis of the discussion and feedback of the GABAR study findings which will then feed into the State Bamboo Policy.