International Bamboo and Rattan Organization

International Bamboo and Rattan Organization

INBAR joins preparatory meeting of ISO/TC 287

14 Nov 2019

INBAR is working to promote the inclusion of bamboo in wood product standardisation.

November 5 – INBAR attended a preparatory meeting of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)’s new Technical Committee (TC), ISO/TC 287. Formed this year, ISO/TC 287 considers ‘Sustainable processes for wood and wood-based products’. The meeting, which was held at ISO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland from November 4-5, included experts from a range of countries including Austria, Brazil, France, Finland, Germany, Sweden, the UK and relevant international organisations.

ISO/TC 287 deals primarily with wood products, but INBAR is proposing that the Committee also includes the non-timber forest product bamboo. INBAR is currently applying to be a ‘Liaison A’ organisation of the Committee. If the application is successful, INBAR will be involved in three ISO Committees: ISO/TC 287, ISO/TC 165 (on Timber structures) and ISO/TC 296 (on bamboo and rattan products).

It has been a busy year for wood and wood-based product standards. In September, ISO officially adopted the international standard ISO38200, ‘Chain of custody of wood and wood-based products’. A ‘chain of custody’ describes a control system to track and document materials throughout the entire supply chain; this standard is intended to enable tracking of material from different categories of source to finished products, including bamboo.

During the preparatory meeting, experts discussed the scope of work of ISO/TC 287, and the priorities of the different working groups set up under it. In general, ISO/TC 287 will work to provide internationally accepted standards regarding the sustainability and regenerative nature of wood and wood-based products and the ‘chain of custody’ for these products, covering everything from biomass production to the finished materials. To do this, the Committee voted to establish three dedicated working groups, to develop new standards for: chains of custody, timber tracking and wood measurement, and sustainability.

Standardisation of wood and non-timber forest products is an important way to create sustainable, transparent value chains. This is particularly important for bamboo and rattan, which are often termed (incorrectly) as ‘timber’ products, and lack specific standards for product design and testing. Over the last two decades, INBAR’s work with the ISO has produced a number of robust standards to improve bamboo and rattan trade, which INBAR works to spread among its Member States. Among other achievements, these standards have had a noticeable influence on international bamboo construction.

Find out more about INBAR’s work with standards here.