International Bamboo and Rattan Organization

International Bamboo and Rattan Organization

INBAR Director General Offers Support to China during the Covid-19 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

16 Feb 2020

The International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR) has sent a letter of support to Chinese President Xi Jinping expressing unwavering confidence in the Chinese government as it battles the current epidemic of coronavirus.

INBAR Director General Ali Mchumo, who penned the letter of support to Chinese President Xi Jinping

16 February 2020 – China, INBAR’s host country, is currently experiencing an outbreak of a novel coronavirus, Covid-19, which has so far killed 1666 people and infected thousands. INBAR’s Director General, Ali Mchumo, penned the letter in support and recognition of the Chinese government’s “nationwide, unprecedented, and effective” epidemic prevention efforts meant to contain the outbreak and minimise suffering.

In the letter, INBAR Director General Ali Mchumo expressed his deepest support and sympathies, “on behalf of the International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR) and in [his] own name.” The letter then explained his reasons for supporting the Chinese government and people in this time of need: “China is the host country, and also one of the founding Member States, of INBAR. Since its inception, the Chinese Government has consistently supported INBAR as it has developed both in China and around the world. As China faces this new challenge, INBAR would like to extend the same feeling of support and encouragement towards China.”

INBAR was established in 1997, as an intergovernmental organisation made up of Member States from around the world. In the 23 years since then, INBAR’s headquarters have remained in China, and the organisation has worked closely with the Chinese government to promote sustainable development using bamboo and rattan, both within and outside the country.

The ways in which the Chinese government has supported INBAR’s development are myriad. Recently, these include an INBAR-led trilateral project, which shares bamboo market expertise from China and Europe across three countries in East Africa. China is also involved in INBAR’s work to raise awareness about bamboo and rattan: in 2017, the country submitted a proposal to have INBAR included as an Observer to the UNGA. China’s Ministry of Commerce works with INBAR to deliver multilateral training programmes in Member States and in China each year. And in 2018, INBAR co-hosted the Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress with China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration in Beijing. The Congress, which attracted over 1000 participants from 70 countries, created a number of impactful new projects and partnerships for the further development of the bamboo and rattan sector.

Ghanaian artisans work with Chinese Ministry of Commerce-sponsored Chinese experts during a 2018 study tour. Photo: Jamila Akwerley Okertchiri/IPS

INBAR and China will continue to work together to promote bamboo and rattan and to work through this challenging time for China and the world.