11 December 2019, Madrid – INBAR is an Observer to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Its statement to all delegates at the annual Conference of the Parties (COP) is below.
On the occasion of the UNFCC COP 25 in Madrid, Spain, and in recognition of the fact that the Paris Agreement on climate change will apply to all signatories, including all INBAR Member States, from 2020, INBAR would like to remind countries of the importance of bamboo for climate change mitigation and adaptation, and reaffirm INBAR’s commitment to helping its 46 Member States to integrate bamboo into their nationally determined contributions (NDCs).
- Under Article 4 of the Paris Agreement, each party must prepare, carry out and account for NDCs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Agreement makes clear that nature-based solutions, including bamboo forests, can play an important role in countries’ NDCs.
- In Article 5 of the Paris Agreement, parties are required to “take action to conserve and enhance, as appropriate, sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases… including forests.”
- In the same Article, parties are also encouraged to take action to support “activities relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries”, including “incentivizing, as appropriate, non-carbon benefits associated with such approaches.”
- In Article 6, the Agreement establishes a mechanism that allows its parties to use “internationally transferred mitigation outcomes” to achieve their mitigation targets. Importantly, this mechanism could enable parties to support bamboo afforestation in other countries, if this afforestation is not already included in countries’ NDCs.
- In Article 7, “ecological systems” and “sustainable management of natural resources” are listed as two of the primary ways for parties to adapt to a changing climate.
Bamboo can play an important role in climate change mitigation and adaptation: as a fast-growing and naturally regenerative carbon sink; as a source of durable products and housing, which can replace wood- or fossil fuel-based materials; and as a drought- and flood-resistant, naturally regenerative source of year-round income.
INBAR is at the forefront of efforts to integrate bamboo into climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies among its bamboo-producing Member States. In 2019, INBAR has released manuals for assessing bamboo forests’ carbon storage and ecosystem services, and has conducted training and remote sensing surveys to help Member States better assess the scope and potential of their existing bamboo stocks. INBAR has also conducted project work to reforest degraded lands with bamboo, and teach local communities about bamboo-based livelihood strategies and sustainable plantation management. The climate change impacts of these activities shows the potential impact which bamboo reforestation can have at a larger level: in East Africa, an INBAR-led project to plant 900 hectares of bamboo forests will store about 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2025; if well-managed, these bamboo plantations, and the durable products made from it, could store almost 600,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide within 40 years.
Bamboo can also make important contributions in bamboo-consuming countries. Earlier in 2019, INBAR co-hosted two events in Europe, to discuss the importance of bamboo as a source of renewable bio-energy and as a low-carbon substitute for PVC, cement, steel or timber in a wide range of industrial products. INBAR frequently publishes research which assesses the eco-cost of bamboo products against traditional materials, and the potential for bamboo to contribute to more circular, zero-waste and low-carbon production.
INBAR stands ready to work with its Member States to encourage them to integrate bamboo into their NDCs, and to help them take advantage of the new mechanism that allows for emissions trading via internationally transferred mitigation outcomes.
To find out more about how bamboo can tackle climate change, read here.