Bamboo is a nature-based solution for poverty alleviation, environmental protection and climate change mitigation. Bamboos sequester more carbon (400%) per unit area and give off 35% more oxygen than trees. It also produce a huge amount of biomass, absorb heavy metals, conserve water, restore degraded lands and stabilize soils against erosion, and achieve Sustainable Development Goals.
According to the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan, the local and global bamboo industry is aligned with 11 of 17 the UN SDGs. This includes affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, sustainable cities and communities, and climate action, among others.
This grass plant is flexible, strong, versatile, and fast-growing – it can be harvested after three to five years, compared to thick wood, that can only be harvested after 20 years. The Philippines, as one of the world’s top exporters of bamboo, has about 60 known species of bamboo. However, its utilization has not always been sustainable. The country’s current number of hectares designated as bamboo forest is not enough.
The communities must invest in bamboo-related research and development activities, as well as embarking on the large-scale production of bamboo and promoting bamboo growing and processing as a viable alternative livelihood, by encouraging local government units to establish their own local bamboo industry development council to promote and explore the potential of bamboo as a sustainable green material, added that bamboo can be used to create a wide range of products and creative handicrafts, and for construction, textile, food, beverages, perfume, medium for art, charcoal, and other agriculture and fisheries use and more – a source of income and creating jobs, resilient enterprises, and sustainable livelihoods to millions of people in rural areas.
Investing on bamboo will transform people’s lives at the grassroots and will pave the way for a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable future for our country.