International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation

International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation

Partnering with Yibin, home of the bamboo sea

7 May 2018

INBAR is proud to partner with Yibin, a bamboo-rich area in Sichuan Province, China.

The President of the People’s Republic of China, H.E. Xi Jinping, is very familiar with the benefits that bamboo production can bring. In November 2017, on INBAR’s 20th anniversary, President Xi congratulated our organisation on our work, crediting INBAR for “play[ing] a positive role in accelerating the development of global bamboo and rattan resources, promoting poverty alleviation in producing areas, boosting trade in bamboo and rattan products and facilitating sustainable development.”

This year, President Xi has repeated these sentiments. During a visit to Sichuan, he encouraged the bamboo industry to realise its full potential:

Sichuan is a major province of bamboo production. Sichuan should adopt suitable measures to develop the local bamboo industry, making the most of [local] advantages such as the Shu’nan Bamboo Sea, so that the bamboo forest can create a beautiful environment in rural areas of Sichuan Province.

President Xi’s remarks have triggered renewed national interest in the bamboo sector, and in particular the bamboo forests in Yibin, Sichuan. Yibin is a prefecture-level city in the southeast of Sichuan, at the confluence of the Min and Yangtze rivers. The area of Yibin encompasses the Shu’nan ‘Bamboo Sea’ – so called because bamboo covers some 4,600 hectares of rolling hills and mountains. In total, Yibin boasts over 200,000 hectares of bamboo forest.

Understandably, bamboo is an integral part of Yibin’s culture, and the area has a historically prosperous bamboo industry. People in Yibin use bamboo for construction, food, and as a material for handicrafts. In 2017, Yibin’s bamboo sector was valued at over RMB 7 million [USD 1.1 million]. Bamboo ecotourism alone accounts for some RMB 2 million of that total, and attracts an average of four million people per year.

Yibin clearly has potential to inspire and inform bamboo sector development across other countries. For this reason, INBAR has worked with Yibin for a long time. In 2001, the Yibin Municipal Government co-organised the Third China Bamboo Culture Festival with INBAR and China’s State Forestry Administration. In 2010, INBAR and other partners worked on a Citibank and European Union-funded project in eight counties including Changning County, Yibin. Taking place after the disastrous Sichuan earthquake in 2008, the project successfully rebuilt livelihoods using eco-friendly, pro-poor bamboo production supply chains. And in 2011, Yibin teamed up with INBAR and Citibank to create a national green and low-carbon demonstration site using bamboo – an important part of the city’s push to become ‘Eco-Yibin’, as part of its 12th Five Year Plan.

For these reasons, INBAR is delighted to partner with Yibin for the Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress, which will be held in Beijing on 25-27 June. This Congress should mark the first step in a closer relationship between INBAR and Yibin, to help further develop Yibin’s bamboo sector and share knowledge and experiences with INBAR’s 40+ Member states.

To find out more about our sessions, and to register for BARC, click here.