World leaders speak at the Second Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress
Leaders from around the world reaffirmed the important role of bamboo and rattan for a greener and cleaner planet.
The Second Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress (BARC 2022) featured an illustrious lineup of heads of state and agency leaders sending congratulatory well-wishes to INBAR on its 25th anniversary. The following is a recap of their messages, presented as part of the Opening Ceremony of BARC 2022 on 7 November. Messages have been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.
On the 25th anniversary of the International Bamboo and Rattan Organization (INBAR) and the holding of the Second Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress (BARC 2022), I would like to extend my warm congratulations!
Bamboo and rattan are important renewable forest resources. Since its establishment, INBAR has been committed to the preservation, development and utilization of bamboo and rattan resources, thus playing a constructive role in promoting eco-environmental protection and sustainable development globally. The Chinese government and INBAR join hands to implement the Global Development Initiative and jointly launch the Bamboo as a Substitute for Plastic Initiative so as to reduce plastic pollution in all countries, address climate change, and accelerate the achievement of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
-Xi Jinping, President of China
A member of the organization since 2002, Cameroon has steadily strengthened its cooperation with INBAR. A Memorandum of Understanding on the sustainable development of bamboo and rattan in a modern, green economy was signed in 2013. Furthermore, my visit to INBAR’s Headquarters in 2018 revealed the significant potential of bamboo and rattan that remains untapped in my country. Today, bamboo and rattan contribute to Cameroon’s National Development Strategy (SDN30), notably through job creation and the fight against poverty.
Cameroon is proud to hold the Presidency of the INBAR Council for the period 2019-2022 and to host the organization’s Regional Office for Central Africa since 2019. Our cooperation has enabled the establishment of the Common Production and Training Centre for the Central African Region in Yaoundé. Within this framework, nearly 12,000 young people have been trained in the processing of bamboo and rattan in close resonance with our import-substitution policy.
-Paul Biya, President of Cameroon
Ecuador has had the honor of being a member of INBAR since 1999 and of hosting its Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Office in Quito. This has allowed us to exercise active regional leadership and align ourselves with several of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Among them are the eradication of poverty, access to adequate housing and the restoration of terrestrial ecosystems.
In 2016, when our country was affected by an earthquake, we witnessed the amazing properties of bamboo as vegetable steel. On this basis, we have launched the Workshop School for Sustainable Construction with Bamboo, with support from INBAR and Spanish Cooperation. Similarly, together with the Government of China, one of our strategic allies, we seek to enhance cooperation across the bamboo chain, which we reaffirmed in Beijing a few months ago.
-Guillermo Lasso, President of Ecuador
Ethiopia, with the largest bamboo resources in Africa, joined INBAR in 2002, with the aim of sharing experiences, best practices and capacity building in making use of its resources. Ethiopia has been fully participating in the activities of INBAR and will continue to play its part in strengthening and making the organisation more efficient and effective. The fact that more and more countries are joining INBAR is a gratifying development.
Ethiopia has been the host country of INBAR’S East Africa Regional Office since 2009, and has worked with INBAR on a number of projects to stimulate the country’s bamboo sector since 2005. The country has large untapped bamboo resources and is also a hub for training and knowledge sharing about bamboo in the region. The government of Ethiopia is grateful to the government of the People’s Republic of China and its President for the opportunity given to Ethiopia to establish the China-Africa Bamboo Centre and remains committed to expedite the construction to make it functional as soon as possible.
-Sahle-Work Zewde, President of Ethiopia
Bamboo and rattan offer many socio-economic and environmental benefits that can support poverty eradication and economic development, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and environmental protection.
Since its creation, INBAR has seen a steady increase in its membership and in its collaboration with UN entities, including with my department, UN DESA, as an observer to the work of the three Rio Conventions and the UN General Assembly, and an active contributor to the work of the United Nations Forum on Forests. We welcome INBAR’s efforts and collaboration to move forward the sustainable development agenda.
-Li Junhua, Under-Secretary-General of United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA)
FAO has been a close partner of your organization since it was established, and our collaboration has grown consistently over the years. We have worked hand-in-hand on national, regional and global assessments of bamboo and rattan resources.
Together, we are working on joint programmes to address food security, livelihoods improvement, climate resilience, sustainable bioenergy, and ecosystem restoration. FAO is committed to continue supporting and promoting the sustainable management and use of bamboo and rattan. I wish you a successful Congress.
-Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
All who know can see that bamboo and rattan are fast growing and resilient. They provide forest cover, and they provide livelihoods. Products from bamboo reduce timber demand. They provide fiber and fuel. We can even replace emission intensive construction materials like steel and concrete with bamboo products.
UNIDO has supported INBAR since 1997 and after our new Relationship Agreement last year we are looking at more cooperation: Working together in circular economies, regenerative agriculture and industry clusters, South-South technology and knowledge transfer, and using our global networks to share best practices among industry, policy makers and investors. UNIDO will continue supporting INBAR on using bamboo as a nature-based solution for sustainable development.
– Gerd Müller, Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
Since the official launch of INBAR in 1997, IFAD has provided grants to support its activities. These have led to the creation of new enterprises and local cooperatives that generate income from bamboo. We have improved the livelihoods of millions of people — generating employment opportunities for women and young people, improving food security, and restoring degraded lands in countries such as India, Ethiopia and Ecuador.
Therefore, my commitment as President of IFAD is to continue to champion the cause of the marginalized through the creation of decent and rewarding jobs, place climate issues at the forefront of our work, strengthen private sector partnerships and remain laser-focused on our mission to transform rural economies. We look forward to further strengthening the partnership for rural transformation with INBAR using various means, including SSTC, to facilitate sharing and exchanging knowledge in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
– Alvaro Lario, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
These messages not only re-affirm INBAR’s global mandate to help the world achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals using the nature-based solutions of bamboo and rattan, but also galvanize public and private support for fighting climate change, safeguarding the environment and championing the rural poor.
Full unedited versions of the VIP messages are available on INBAR’s official YouTube channel.