Bamboo and Rattan at the heart of the XV World Forestry Congress
INBAR will show how bamboo and rattan provide sustainable means of livelihood and countless ecosystem services at the World Forestry Congress in Korea.
The World Forestry Congress (WFC) is one of the most important global forestry events, where policymakers, practitioners, research institutions, youth and indigenous peoples meet to discuss the best possible ways to manage our forests. This year the congress is organised under the theme “Building a Green, Healthy and Resilient Future with Forests”, and it is taking place in Seoul, the Republic of Korea until 6 May 2022. For the first time, the WFC is held in the hybrid mode, with more than 3500 participants on site, and many more online.
Officially opened by His Excellency Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea, the opening ceremony saw the participation of four distinguished guests, Her Royal Highness Princess Basma bint Ali Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and FAO Goodwill Ambassador; His Excellency Byeong-Am Choi, Minister of the Korea Forest Service; Qu Dongyu, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN; and Magdalena Jovanović, President of the International Forestry Students Association. In addition, Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the UN and Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group, delivered a video speech on behalf of UN Secretary General.
In his opening remarks, His Excellency President Moon Jae-in argued that the world needs to develop deforestation-free supply chains. We have cleared over 30% of our forest and 20% is highly degraded: His Excellency President Moon explained that the world can no longer rely on forest restoration only, but that it is imperative to keep the remaining forest intact, as this is the best heritage to the future generations. His Excellency argued that we are at crossroads, where developing countries need to cut their forest for income generation, and developed countries have urbanised to extent that there is limited land to establish forests. Working together can enable both the developing and developed countries to achieve zero net carbon emission. This is the reason why the Government of the Republic of Korea has pledged the amount of USD 60 million for forest restoration.
As such, in Building a Green, Healthy and Resilient Future with Forests it is now imperative that we change the way we use the forest, characterized by overexploitation of few valuables species, but rather pay more attention to less exploited species with the great potential of providing vital ecosystem services. Within this context, bamboo and rattan are two important non-timber forest products which can serve as tools for the international community to reach the zero carbon, and zero deforestation value chains. Not only do bamboo and rattan provide sustainable means for the livelihoods of local communities, but also help restore degraded landscapes, reforestation, provide renewable energy and are excellent, affordable and available materials to use for sustainable construction and production of countless products and handicrafts. INBAR will echo these messages through its participation in the Congress and the organisation of two side events.
On 3 May, the side event ‘Delivering multiple benefits for people and the earth through bamboo’ will demonstrate how bamboo can help combat forest degradation, restore landscapes, improve livelihoods, create jobs, conserve biodiversity, improve food security, provide clean energy, and ecosystem services. The session will count with the participation of panelists from INBAR, RECOFTC, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, the Ethiopia Environment Forest and Climate Change Commission, the Minister of Forestry of Cameroon, Booomers International and the Ethiopia Green Diamond Bamboo Development Company. Also on this day, INBAR will share its perspective as a FTA partner in the side event ‘Research for a green, healthy and resilient future with forests and trees: Launching a new research-for-development partnership’.
On 4 May, the side event ‘Bamboo as sustainable biomass energy for Africa’ will share the experiences and lessons learned from using bamboo as biomass energy and explore how to further promote affordable bamboo biomass energy to a wide population in Africa. The session will count with the participation of panelists from INBAR, the International Centre for Bamboo and Rattan, the Ministry of Energy of Ethiopia, the enterprise Global Bamboo products limited from Ghana and the enterprise Adal Industrial from Ethiopia.
INBAR has also organised a booth at the Conference Centre that showcases several products made from bamboo and rattan. Don’t hesitate to visit the INBAR booth (F10) to discover both low and high tech innovative bamboo products and have a talk with INBAR delegates about the potential of bamboo and rattan for sustainable development.