International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation

International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation

Bamboo in La Macarena for Peace, Income and Employment



Helping the reintegration of ex-combatants into everyday society using bamboo

The peace agreement signed between The Revoluntionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Government is only one step on the long road to the former guerrilla fighters’ full reintegration into Colombian society. What to put in guerrillas’ hands that once held a weapon? What now are the income and employment opportunities available to them? A critical next step will be to solve the livelihood riddle that once was easily answered by the lucrative production and trade of cocaine.

One of the priority areas is La Macarena Municipality, which presents an ideal opportunity for bamboo to demonstrate its transformative economic potential. The diversity and versatility of bamboo makes it a suitable tool for wealth and job creation of the ex-combatants in La Macarena.  Because bamboo can help reduce the rate of deforestation in La Macarena and neighboring territories, the development of viable bamboo cultivation schemes and bamboo-based enterprises presents a triple bottom line (economic, social and environmental) benefit for all of Colombia.

The aim of this project initiative is to present a replicable bamboo-based model that allows for the smoother reintegration of the ex-combatants into everyday society, and that generates a measurable increase in wealth and employment.

The specific objectives are thus:

  • Determine the situation of bamboo resources through bio-physical and socio-economic assessments.
  • Develop and execute a capacity building exercises about use and management of bamboo.
  • Develop an action plan towards bamboo development concerted with different local actors.
Project partners