Bamboo and Rattan at the Heart of Non-Timber Forest Products Workshop in Yaoundé
6 November 2019 – INBAR’s Central Africa Regional Office put bamboo and rattan at the very centre of Cameroon’s conversation around non-timber forest products (NTFPs) at national-level workshop.
Since opening this year, INBAR’s Central Africa Regional Office (CARO) has been representing INBAR and the needs of bamboo and rattan producers and consumers in Cameroon and Central Africa through research and development, knowledge and technology sharing, and representation and advocacy. As part of this work, INBAR played a key role at a Yaoundé-based Workshop on “Non-Timber Forest Products in Cameroon: the future of our forest”, organised on 29-30 October 2019 by the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife and german development agency GIZ as part of their project “Programme to Support the Implementation of the Strategy of Development of the Rural Sector on Forest/Environment”.
Cameroon’s Strategic Development Programme highlights out non-timber forest products as important for the country’s economy. They can play a key role in social, economic and environmental development, as they are often high-value products that can be harvested sustainably without depleting forest resources. During his opening remarks, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, who attended the meeting representing the Minister, highlighted the specific plans of his department for NTFPs and thanked international organisations including INBAR for their support towards this goal.
Bamboo and rattan are two key non-timber forest products with great potential in Cameroon, where both grow. Cameroon boasts more than 20 varieties of rattan, and the country exports more than USD 1 million worth of bamboo plywood each year. The National Workshop on the Capitalisation of Non-Timber Forest Products in Cameroon was an opportunity for INBAR to showcase the potential of these important commodities. At this workshop, INBAR organised a booth to exhibit both high quality engineered bamboo and rattan products and locally processed bamboo and rattan products. The bamboo and rattan products from different INBAR Member States, including bamboo bicycles from Ghana, high-tech engineered bamboo products from China, bamboo tableware from the Philippines, and bamboo charcoal from Ethiopia. INBAR extended the opportunity to bamboo and rattan artisans in Cameroon to exhibit their products at the INBAR booth. One such artisan was Ms. Eboto Helene, President of the Women’s Rural Organisation (OFERA) in the Southern Cameroon, was sponsored by INBAR to attend the workshop and exhibit bamboo and rattan products manufactured by women.
Rene Kaam, INBAR Director for Central Africa Region also delivered two key presentations, the first on the importance of standards for market promotion of NTFP, and the second on the potential for transformation of bamboo and rattan in the national, regional and international market. Rene was also part of a panel discussion called “Challenges and opportunities for the transformation of non-timber forest products under the requirements and competitiveness of the national, regional and international market”.
INBAR is proud to partner with the government of Cameroon to promote the sustainable development of the bamboo and rattan sector in the country. According to Rene Kaam, harnessing the potential of bamboo and rattan can be achieved by: –
- building capacity within local communities to process bamboo and rattan;
- facilitating access to financial resources; and
- developing enabling and incentivising policies for the sustainable development of bamboo and rattan value chain
To achieve this objective, INBAR looks forward to working closely with partner agencies including GIZ and the government of Cameroon to realise the potential of bamboo and rattan in Cameroon.
For details about INBAR’s participation at the National Workshop on the Capitalisation of Non-Timber Forest Products in Cameroon, 29-30 October 2019, Hilton Hotel Yaoundé, and INBAR Central Africa Regional Office, please contact Rene Kaam (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Established in 1997, the International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR) is an intergovernmental development organisation that promotes environmentally sustainable development using bamboo and rattan. It is currently made up of 45 Member States. In addition to its Secretariat Headquarters in China, INBAR has five Regional Offices in Cameroon, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Ghana and India.
Bamboo, the fast-growing grass plant, and rattan, the spiky climbing palm, can be important nature-based solutions to a number of pressing global challenges, for poverty alleviation, green trade, climate change mitigation, resilient construction and environmental protection. INBAR’s mission is to improve the well-being of producers and users of bamboo and rattan within the context of a sustainable bamboo and rattan resource base, by consolidating, coordinating and supporting strategic and adaptive research and development.