International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation

International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation

Online learning about bamboo and rattan in 2020

10 Feb 2021

Key facts:

2020 has changed the way many organisations work. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, last year INBAR launched a new webinar series about bamboo, rattan and their sustainable development applications.

Capacity building has always been an important part of INBAR’s mission. Since 1997, the organisation has trained tens of thousands of people across the world in all aspects of the bamboo and rattan value chain. With physical workshops near impossible in 2020, INBAR training staff turned their efforts to producing online-only events, which could be viewed around the world.

Starting in May, INBAR organised 51 webinars under a number of themes, including bamboo and rattan’s uses for environmental protection (‘Bamboo and environmental management’, ‘Sustainable management and utilisation of rattan resources’), as well as bamboo’s importance for sustainable job creation and socio-economic development (‘Bamboo for poverty reduction and livelihood development’, ‘Bamboo industry development’), for wellbeing (‘Bamboo for health and welfare’), and in housing (‘Bamboo as a sustainable material for construction’). INBAR’s Regional Offices in Latin America and the Caribbean, South Asia and East Africa either hosted or co-hosted regional webinars on a wide range of topics, from local development models to regional initiatives. More than 170 panelists from around the world took part in the series.

More than 170 presenters took part in INBAR’s 2020 webinars.

Throughout the year, INBAR’s webinars attracted a diverse range of viewers, including policymakers, scientists, planners, entrepreneurs, development practitioners and farmers. In total, nearly 1700 participants from 85 countries registered for the INBAR webinars and became regular followers of the series.

In commitment to INBAR’s principle of knowledge sharing, videos of each session were also uploaded to INBAR’s YouTube channel (@INBAROfficial), where they garnered more than 100,000 new views between May and December.

Feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive: the webinar content was “very informative” and relevant to the topics, and many trainees appreciated having the opportunity to discuss technical issues directly with expert panellists. The most popular webinar topics included sustainable bamboo construction, bamboo’s uses for climate change and environmental management, and innovative bamboo products.

The series will continue in 2021, with webinars every fortnight in diversified formats, including policy dialogues, online training courses on specific technologies, ‘field classrooms’ and virtual study tours. Scheduled topics will cover topics such as bamboo and rattan’s role in reducing plastic use, contribution to more circular economic growth, and sector development.

More information about INBAR’s past and upcoming webinars can be found at

INBAR project staff continued to provide training for people across Member States, where safe and feasible. For updates on project training in 2020, read our latest news; for an introduction to our projects, click here.