Bamboo and rattan can contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 12, which aims for the efficient use of resources.
Sustainable Development Goal 12 aims for the world to ‘do more with less’: reducing unsustainable resource use, which can result in deforestation and pollution. Bamboo is an excellent renewable resource, and is often used as a fast-growing alternative to timber. Although taxonomically bamboo is a grass species, some kinds of bamboo grow over a metre a day and mature rapidly, becoming hard and wood-like within a small number of years.
As well as being renewable, bamboo products can also have a low or even negative carbon footprint across their lifecycle, according to INBAR research. Bamboo and rattan are also very versatile: these plants have thousands of documented uses, and can replace materials with high carbon emissions, such as PVC, steel and concrete. This reduces pressure on use of forest timber resources. Increasingly, bamboo and rattan can create products which are very useful in public infrastructure, including pipes, housing and storage facilities.
INBAR works in a number of ways to monitor, publicise and standardise trade in bamboo and rattan products:
Trade in bamboo and rattan products employs millions of people around the world, and has created an industry valued at some USD 60 billion annually. INBAR’s trade development work focuses on:
- Provision of data on trade in the bamboo and rattan sectors, and analysis of trends;
- Provision of policy advice based on trade data and changing import policies;
- Supporting technological product innovation and broadening its application; and
- Development and testing of innovative bamboo and rattan value chains in situ for replication, adoption and adaptation.
For more information about INBAR’s work with trade, see the section ‘Promoting Trade’ on our website here.
Developing and monitoring standards for bamboo and rattan products—to ensure they are safe, reliable and have a consistently good quality—improves consumer and supplier confidence. In turn, this increases these plants’ marketability and helps build value chains in international markets.
Monitoring trade of bamboo products is an equally essential part of supporting and developing the industry. INBAR has been working on the identification of bamboo and rattan in the HS coding system since 2002, with great success. In 2017, 10 new HS codes for bamboo and rattan products were introduced to the system. Overall, 24 types of bamboo and rattan products now have individual HS codes and nomenclature, and can now be classified and recorded by customs officials when they are traded between countries.
This is no small achievement. These new HS codes should significantly enhance the quality of global trade data of bamboo and rattan, and more accurately reflect the overall status of bamboo and rattan trade. More importantly, they will enhance recognition of bamboo and rattan products in the international market, which will allow developing countries to monitor, assess and stimulate their evolving trade and developing markets of bamboo and rattan.