23 April 2020 – In August 2019, a group of experts from China, supported by INBAR and sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, visited Ecuador to carry out research and make recommendations for the country’s bamboo sector. They identified four key points for improvement in the sector.
During their tour, the delegation investigated three provinces and spoke with key stakeholders from Ecuador’s bamboo industry to discuss how China-sponsored training programmes could be of help to the sector. Part of of this visit included confirming the importance of bamboo development to the China-Ecuador diplomatic relationship, notably through meeting with the Chinese ambassador to Ecuador, H.E Chen Guoyou, and other high-ranking government officials.
The results of this preliminary stakeholder discussions yielded four important recommendations for the potential China-sponsored invigoration of the Ecuadorian bamboo industry:
- Ecuador should follow the Chinese model and establish a dedicated bamboo organisation to coordinate and link different groups along the bamboo value chain, so that they can work together to advocate for positive change in the bamboo sector and for its inclusion in conversations about a wide variety of different currently untapped potential uses, such as bioenergy, food and medicine, and construction.
- The experts recognised the Guadua family, the Chusquea family, Dendrocalamus asper and Bambusa vulgaris as key bamboo species with a high potential for development in Ecuador. Guadua and Chusquea grow natively in Ecuador, but the other two species grow after being introduced from Asia. Of these, the Guadua family and Dendrocolamus asper are particularly suitable for developing shoot industries and for timber applications. Chusquea family bamboo species were recognised for their strong adaptability and root systems, and are may be used for ecological rehabilitation and construction. Bambusa vulgaris, a bamboo species with wide distribution in Ecuador, could have promising applications in the country as a biomass fuel used on a large scale when conditions are ready.
- The experts identified the use of bamboo as a biomass fuel as a particularly underdeveloped application in Ecuador. Putting in place policies and strategies to promote the use and increase efficiency of bamboo as biomass was identified as a particularly important recommendation.
- It was estimated that the species that were already growing in the country, both native and introduced, could provide the necessary resources for a more diversified bamboo sector and a deeper exploration of the potential and value of bamboo in Ecuador.
INBAR’s work with Member State governments is wide ranging encompasses policy shaping and advocacy, knowledge sharing and learning, and action research and country support. INBAR aims to act as a facilitator for countries wishing to develop their bamboo and rattan industries.
To find out more about how INBAR and its partner the International Centre for Bamboo and Rattan (ICBR) supported the Ecuadorian government via training and capacity building for the bamboo in 2019, read our story here.
Below is INBAR’s Capacity Building Manager Jin Wei talking about bamboo’s potential in Ecuador.