INBAR turns 25 and the Second Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress
INBAR’s 25th anniversary as well as the Opening Ceremony of the Second Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress were held as part of a joint event in celebration of bamboo and rattan.
On 7 November, the 25th anniversary of the founding of the International Bamboo and Rattan Organization (INBAR) and the Second Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress (BARC 2022) convened in Beijing. Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a Congratulatory Letter to the congress, and Congratulatory Video Messages from President Paul Biya of Cameroon, President Guillermo Lasso of Ecuador and President Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia were broadcast at the Plenary Session.
Cao Jianming, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China, attended the Opening Ceremony, and read out the Congratulatory Letter from Chinese President Xi Jinping before delivering a speech.
In addition, Guan Zhi’ou, Administrator of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA) of China, Martin Mpana, Ambassador of Cameroon to China and Representative of the Chair of INBAR’s 12th Council Session as well as Jiang Zehui, Co-Chair of INBAR Board of Trustees and academician of the International Academy of Wood Sciences, attended the Opening Ceremony and delivered speeches.
In his speech, Cao Jianming noted that since its establishment 25 years ago, INBAR has coordinated its Member States to make positive contributions to promoting the development and utilization of bamboo and rattan resources, promoting poverty alleviation in bamboo- and rattan-producing areas as well as boosting the international trade of bamboo and rattan products. He emphasized that the Chinese government has always attached great importance to the development of bamboo and rattan industry, adhering to a path of green development to build a shared future for humankind. A slew of recent government policies and strategies has mapped out a comprehensive blueprint for green, circular and low-carbon development. This has provided a new impetus and new opportunities for sustainable development not only in China but around the world.
After, Guan Zhi’ou took the stage. He began by highlighting the special role of bamboo and rattan resources in improving people’s livelihood, protecting the environment and promoting development, and applauded the increasing recognition of the two forest resources by the international community. He remarked on the special role China as well as INBAR and its Member States are playing in leading the global effort to integrate bamboo in sustainable development programs, particularly emphasizing the prominent position of the NFGA in undertaking this work.
Martin Mpana pointed out in his speech the numerous ecological benefits of bamboo as a nature-based solution that occupies an important position for confronting numerous global challenges such as climate change, solving plastic pollution, eliminating absolute poverty and achieving green development. He expressed appreciation to the Host Country for its high degree of attention and generous support over the years, allowing INBAR to flourish and expand its international influence. He ended by commenting that BARC 2022 could not have happened without strong support from partners, and that he looked forward to seeing firsthand the in-depth collaboration between participants and speakers to deepen cooperation and seek out future opportunities to promote the development of bamboo and rattan industries.
Jiang Zehui spoke on the great work undertaken by INBAR over the last 25 years. She discussed INBAR’s tireless advocacy for promoting sustainable policies, implementing projects, conducting trainings and exchanges, endeavoring to lift communities out of poverty, boosting sustainable trade and more, all of which play a crucial role in accelerating the world’s use of bamboo and rattan resources while mitigating the deleterious impacts of climate change. She expressed her wish that participants would take advantage of this platform and opportunity at BARC 2022 to actively exchange knowledge and develop consensus across a variety of topics, as well as contribute new wisdom and strength to promote the scientific and technological innovation of bamboo and rattan, with a particular eye to implementing the Bamboo as a Substitute for Plastic Initiative.
Other luminaries made remarks at the Plenary Session. Li Junhua, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Qu Dongyu, Director General of FAO, Gerd Müller, Director General of UNIDO, and Alvaro Lario, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, sent Congratulatory Video Messages to the congress.
Also in the opening ceremony, one extremely important project was launched. The Government of China and INBAR joined hands to co-launch the Bamboo as a Substitute for Plastic Initiative, which will act as a roadmap for radically scaling up the use of bamboo to replace plastics, with the aim of making a serious dent in climate change and contributing to carbon neutrality. Other exciting events unfolded on the Opening Day such as the Ambassadors Dialogue and Keynote Session.
BARC 2022, this year coinciding with INBAR’s 25th anniversary, was organized by the NFGA and INBAR with the theme “Bamboo and Rattan — Nature-based Solutions for Sustainable Development.” Over 1000 participants from Member States of INBAR, international organizations and non-governmental organizations as well as research institutes, universities and enterprises are set to participate in the two-day hybrid conference in both offline and online formats, making great progress in mainstreaming bamboo and rattan as important forest resources in the fight against climate change, the biodiversity crisis and global poverty.
BARC 2022 and events like it are ideal platforms for fostering global cooperation, bringing humankind together to meet a host of issues. Today, against the backdrop of climate change, an energy crisis and biodiversity extinction, the world needs to come together more than ever. As we continue to unlock the potential of bamboo and rattan, these critical forest resources will be brought to the forefront in a variety of arenas, bringing their countless knock-on benefits to communities around the world, and uniting countries in the fight for our planet.