INBAR attended the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development’s annual general meeting, and presented participants with a briefing note about bamboo’s importance for sustainable development.
2-4 June, Hangzhou, China – In June, the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) met for its annual meeting in Hangzhou, China, in an event designed to coincide with World Environment Day. INBAR representatives attended the meeting and took part in a field trip which prominently featured bamboo’s usefulness for green development.
CCICED occupies a prominent place in Chinese environmental discussion and research. Since its establishment in the nineties, CCICED has met yearly to gather international and Chinese experts, to discuss issues related to China’s environmental protection, and to provide suggestions to the government about ways to ‘green’ its economic growth.
In recent years, the work of CCICED has become even more central to the Chinese government’s focus. China’s new goal of ‘ecological civilisation’, which is being showcased at events such as the International Horticultural Exhibition in Beijing this year, involves creating a more sustainable relationship between socio-economic growth and environmental protection. INBAR has been an active part of CCICED since 2017, providing inputs on special CCICED policy reports, and suggesting ways in which bamboo value chains could become an important part of ongoing economic initiatives.
This June, INBAR travelled to Hangzhou to take part in a number of sessions at the CCICED annual meeting. INBAR representatives talked in sessions about the importance of bamboo for biodiversity conservation, the Belt and Road Initiative and green urbanisation. INBAR was not the only one to mention the importance of bamboo: during his a session on biodiversity conservation, CCICED Special Advisor Arthur Hanson highlighted INBAR’s work with bamboo as an example of nature-based solutions.
The meeting was followed by a field trip to Anji, a county in northwestern Zhejiang province, to see some environmental solutions in action. Bamboo is an important part of the county’s trade, and the Party Secretary of Anji introduced the sustainable development of the bamboo sector as one of ‘three pillars’ of the county’s green development strategy. Participants on the field trip were given an introduction to a number of different bamboo products, including handicrafts, edible bamboo shoots and furniture, as well as eco-tourism.
In advance of the trip, INBAR had prepared a briefing note about bamboo for sustainable development, in consultation with CCICED. Participants to the annual meeting and field trip were given copies of this briefing note, to inform them about the history of China’s bamboo sector development, and the potential of bamboo for sustainable development. The briefing note estimates that, based on China’s experience:
- If other bamboo-growing countries could develop their sectors like China, the global bamboo sector could provide a source of income for 50 million people;
- If an additional 15 million hectares of bamboo were planted on degraded lands, bamboo plants and their products could save over 7 gigatons of carbon dioxide within 30 years – more than 300 million new electric cars would save;
- If 200 million hectares of bamboo were planted, this could create a global industry worth more than USD 1 trillion;
- Using bamboo as a source of biomass energy in place of timber could make an important contribution to reducing deforestation, and could replace over 60 per cent of the sub-Saharan Africa region’s wood consumption for charcoal production.
The CCICED 2019 annual meeting provided an important opportunity to demonstrate the potential of bamboo for environmental protection, biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation – and another part of INBAR’s commitment to publicise the importance of nature-based solutions on the international stage.
The briefing note ‘Bamboo for Sustainable Development’ can be viewed here.
More information about the CCICED annual general meeting 2019 can be viewed here.