INBAR is working on a new project to promote bamboo use across Ecuador and Peru.
Guadua angustifolia Kunth, commonly known as ‘Guayaquil cane’ and ‘bamboo cane’, grows abundantly in Ecuador and Peru. Fast growing and tall – reaching a height of 30 metres – Guadua fulfils a substantial ecological role in both countries, and is regarded as a particularly useful species of bamboo for environmental and economic services. For example, both Ecuador and Peru have used Guadua to build houses for hundreds of years. Bamboo can also play a critical role in storing carbon and providing an alternative source of income, making it a potentially important tool for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Despite its importance, bamboo in Ecuador and Peru has not been used to its full potential. This is due to a number of factors, including poor management of existing bamboo stands, and unsupportive policy and regulatory frameworks, which prevent the development of bamboo sectors. To take one example, although Ecuador has a robust set of standards for bamboo construction, they have yet to be taken up by many developers.
This is particularly important in the context of climate change. Ecuador and Peru are both highly vulnerable to the adverse effects of global warming. Ecuador faces a variety of climate change risks associated with changes in temperature and precipitation. Meanwhile, in parts of Peru, farmers are already recording irregular rainfall patterns and intense heat. Increasingly unpredictable weather patterns and natural disasters create obvious risks, particularly for rural communities whose livelihoods or housing are less stable.
To help solve this issue, INBAR is working with Ecuador and Peru on a project funded by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development, to encourage the use of bamboo as a tool for green economic growth and carbon capture and climate resilience. The project involves strengthening policies and regulatory frameworks that recognise, regulate and promote the use of bamboo. In doing so, it will make up part of the Regional Programme for the Environment and Climate Change in Latin America, ‘ARAUCLIMA’, funded by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development.
The project will take place in two regions: Manabí in Ecuador and Piura in Peru. Overall, over 30,000 people stand to benefit from the project. To take one example, a number of families in Manabí were badly affected by recent floods. Using bamboo for land restoration, as well as to build more resilient housing, are two ways in which the area could stand to benefit from bamboo.
The project started in 2018 and is due to run until next year. INBAR is pleased to be working more with two of its 12 Member states in the Americas, to further realise the potential of their bamboo resources.
More information about the project objectives and partners can be found here.