International Bamboo and Rattan Organization

International Bamboo and Rattan Organization

Celebrating the panda at BARC

22 May 2018

This World Biodiversity Day, INBAR is celebrating one of bamboo’s biggest fans – the panda.

Throughout China and much of the world, bamboo is associated with the Giant Panda. In fact, the panda is only one of a large number of species that rely on bamboo for their survival: either as a source of food or shelter or indirectly as an integral part of functioning ecosystems.

The Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress (BARC 2018) will include a discussion with representatives of the main international conservation organisations about their involvement in panda conservation. The China Director of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Dr Zhu Chuquan, will talk about the recent change in conservation status on the Red List – IUCN’s list of threatened species – but he will also reflect on the smaller red panda, that is equally dependent on bamboo.  Alistair Monument, Practice Leader of Forests at WWF International, will explain the need for sustainable forest management to maintain a healthy habitat. As well as this, the Wildlife Conservation Director, Conservation International’s China Director and a representative from the Nature Conservancy will be speaking on subjects about natural resource management and the relationship between conservation and sustainable development.

We are particularly excited to use BARC to talk about the new Panda National Park in China – a huge area of Sichuan province predicted to be “twice the size” of the USA’s famous Yellowstone national park. China’s State Forestry and Grassland Administration will share the latest developments in this exciting project, and a speaker from the Panda centre at the Wolong Nature Reserve will explain the dependence of these iconic animals on several species of bamboo. The Giant Panda, another mammal which famously relies on bamboo, was another subject of discussion, in a session which tried to link the protection of pandas in China with environmental preservation. Together, China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration, UNESCO,  Conservation International, the International Union for the Conservation Of Nature (IUCN), the Nature Conservancy, the Wildlife Conservation Society in China, and WWF will discuss the need to support a potential planning workshop in early 2019, to further discuss how to integrate these issues.

Through these conversations, INBAR hopes to provide new insights into the need for increased protection of certain animal species, within the larger picture of environmental conservation and the UN Sustainable Development Agenda.

To find out more information and register for BARC, click here.