International Bamboo and Rattan Organization

International Bamboo and Rattan Organization

“Bending, but not breaking”: Working through COVID-19

26 Mar 2020

As the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 continues, the International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR) is concerned about the impact it could have on the most vulnerable communities across its Member States and the world.

Established in 1997, INBAR is an intergovernmental organisation which promotes the use of bamboo and rattan for environmentally sustainable development. It is currently made up of 46 Member States and 3 Observer States. Many of these countries stand to be badly affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Bamboo and rattan are strategic non-timber forest products, which already provide a source of livelihood for millions of people. They can be an important tool for poverty alleviation, environmental protection and climate change mitigation for many countries in the tropical and subtropical world.  A famously versatile material, bamboo also has a specific role to play in the recent COVID-19 outbreak: bamboo charcoal fabric protective masks and tissue are being used in a number of countries to combat the virus’ spread.

During this unique time, INBAR will continue our work with our Member States to support the continued development of their bamboo and rattan sectors for poverty alleviation and green growth. All INBAR staff are abiding by strict health and safety measures.

For the duration of this period, INBAR will also focus on sharing positive stories about bamboo, rattan and their uses around the world. We invite you to follow us on social media (@INBAROfficial), and keep updated with our quarterly newsletter. For more information about INBAR’s programme of work, you can view our projects around the world, and learn more about the usefulness of bamboo and rattan as plants and products.

Many cultures have made allegories about bamboo, but one aspect seems particularly relevant today: its flexibility. To quote Dr. Craig Smith, a surgeon-in-chief who wrote to his staff at a medical centre in New York earlier this week: “A forest of bamboo bends to the ground in a typhoon but rarely breaks. We are that forest, and we must not break.”

In this unprecedented time, INBAR extends its deepest support to all people and countries affected by COVID-19, and is proud to continue working in partnership for green and inclusive development.

To stay updated about nature-based solutions for sustainable development, sign up to INBAR’s newsletter or follow us on social media: @INBAROfficial.