Biodiversity loss is one of the most pressing issues of our time. For the next issue of Bamboo and Rattan Update, the editors are looking for articles which explore how these plants can help.
The next decade will be a crucial one for the world’s ecosystems. 2020 marks the end of the United Nations’ ‘Decade on Biodiversity’, and the start of even more ambitious plans for the future: in October, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity had planned to meet in Kunming, China, to agree on a new global biodiversity framework, which could finally tackle the root causes of biodiversity loss and create a model for more sustainable biodiversity governance around the world. Although the meeting has now been postponed, the critical question—how to live more in harmony with nature—remains pressing.
There are more than 1600 known species of bamboo and 600 species of rattan in the world. These plants can maintain and enhance biodiversity in tropical and subtropical ecosystems, as a source of food and shelter to some of the world’s most endangered species, and for their critical ecosystem services. Conserving bamboo and rattan biodiversity is important for landscapes and the livelihoods of millions of people who rely on these plants, and understanding bamboo and rattan can support biodiversity conservation around the world.
Importantly, bamboo and rattan also offer critical services for people, making them desirable nature-based solutions around the world. In Chishui, China, bamboo crafts are being revived as a sustainable source of income in a UNESCO-protected biodiversity site, as a replacement for traditional livelihoods such as logging and hunting. In Uganda, well-managed bamboo plantations can provide a source of food for mountain gorillas as well as a useful material for humans. And in Laos, community management of rattans has helped protect the forests. According to WWF, who managed the project, training in rattan management has helped “to alleviate pressure on forests while empowering communities to effectively manage their natural resources.”
For its next issue, INBAR’s publication Bamboo and Rattan Update is looking for articles on the theme of ‘Bamboo, rattan and biodiversity’. In particular, the editors are looking for submissions about new research or recent project work regarding:
- Bamboo and rattan’s ecosystem services, and/or how a better understanding of bamboo and rattan’s ecosystem services can promote biodiversity protection;
- How bamboo and rattan biodiversity is mapped;
- How sustainable bamboo and rattan management has been integrated into national and local development and poverty reduction strategies;
- How creating a robust market for bamboo and rattan products can incentivise their protection;
- How innovative uses for bamboo and rattan can have positive effects on global biodiversity conservation.