INBAR’s new, quarterly magazine aims to share the latest high-quality news and activities from the bamboo and rattan sector.
Published in September, the first issue of Bamboo and Rattan Update – INBAR’s new, quarterly magazine – contains a wide range of features.
Bamboo and Rattan Update was conceived to bring together the most important news, views and activities about these plants. In his editorial, INBAR Director General Mr. Ali Mchumo explains: “In every issue, we aim to showcase new research findings and projects, as well as relevant upcoming events and publications. In particular, we will focus on the people who are using bamboo and rattan to help improve the world around them.”
Volume 1, Issue 1 was devoted to a general exploration of bamboo and rattan for sustainable development, with a range of profiles and features from experts.
In his article ‘Booming Bamboo’ (page 4), researcher and ‘grandfather of bamboo’ Professor Walter Liese analyses the changes in bamboo research since his career began in the 1970s. Since his first published bamboo monographs in the 1950s, Liese’s research has provided us with a better understanding of bamboo’s properties, treatment options and potential uses. Among the many important breakthroughs of recent years, Liese highlights the carbon storage potential of bamboo, which – dependent on its conversion into durable products – “can make an important contribution to climate change mitigation”, and the construction of “advanced, high-quality [bamboo] structures around the world.” In particular, Liese believes that the development of “strong networks”, such as INBAR, have made an important contribution to boosting research and knowledge-sharing.
In ‘Innovation Station’ (page 6), Professor Fei Benhua, the Executive Director General of the International Centre for Bamboo and Rattan, considers some of the most important innovations to have come out of China in recent years. With a bamboo sector valued at USD 44 billion, and some 150 million tons of bamboo poles ready for harvesting each year, China is obviously a leading example for other countries to follow – but what recent innovations have been supporting the sector’s development? Professor Fei looks at a range of technologies, from the bamboo ‘scissors’ which are making harvesting more efficient, to promising increases in pulp and paper production, and even new projects to grow bamboo in the northern part of the country.In BRU’s profile section (page 8), Colombian botanist Dr. Ximena Londoño reflects on her career, and where her passion for bamboo came from. Since the 1980s, Dr. Londoño has described and named one third of the new woody bamboo species in Colombia, research which she describes as “important to expanding our understanding of [Guadua] bamboo, and its applications for sustainable development.” In addition to her taxonomic research and support to standards, Dr. Londoño also manages an impressive bamboo area, where tourists can learn about and be inspired by this plant. “After 40 years of dedication to investigating, promoting, preserving and transforming bamboo”, Londoño writes, “I am convinced that bamboo can contribute to poverty alleviation in many areas… We have to teach people to identify the species, to appropriate the natural wealth they have, and to develop the skills to transform it.”
In addition to these features, the issue features a compilation of the most relevant bamboo and rattan news from around the world, and from INBAR; a review of a new book on bamboo construction; an analysis which crunches the numbers on a new forest report; and a list of relevant upcoming events.
In his editorial, Mr. Mchumo acknowledged that Bamboo and Rattan Update was launching in a “unique time” in world events. “In 2020, more than any year, we have the opportunity, and responsibility, to reflect on our relationship with the natural world, and what it gives us. In particular, nature-based solutions can be a crucial part of the fight against climate change, biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation: all trends which have contributed to the spread of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Bamboo and Rattan Update aims to raise awareness about the importance of nature-based solutions, including bamboo and rattan, for a more sustainable life in our planet.”