Focus of the session

Exploring bamboo’s potential for green innovation and trade

Bamboo is a strategic tool with over 10,000 known uses. It can help us restore landscapes, mitigate and adapt to climate change, reduce poverty, construct safe buildings and provide a source of renewable energy. In China alone, the bamboo sector employs almost 10 million people and has an annual worth of US$ 30 billion.

The objective of this bamboo session is to provide a policy-focused dialogue on how bamboo innovations can help companies, communities and governments to meet a range of different goals. It is hosted by Dr Hans Friederich, Director General of the International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR).

The morning session will include short speeches from senior officials across INBAR’s Member States: China, Colombia, Ghana, India and Madagascar. These speakers will discuss their experiences using bamboo for environmental management, sustainable development and trade.

The afternoon will include an innovative ‘deep dive’ session, in which attendees will be able to engage with the six speakers in small groups, to better understand bamboo’s role for various purposes. The session will end with a policy-focused reflection on what we have heard during the day.

This theme promises to be a pragmatic, policy-focused look at how this ‘green gold’ can provide innovative solutions to a number of problems facing the twenty-first century world.

Potential impact on SDGs

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Bamboo can contribute to at least seven of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Bamboo value chains - from forest management through pre-processing to transformation – have the potential to create many new jobs, especially in poor, rural areas. As well as this, bamboo can be processed into charcoal, biodiesel and biogas to provide energy. It has been used for thousands of years for construction, and is a flexible, modern and affordable building material. Creating products with bamboo instead of other materials can help us use our natural resources more efficiently – producing less waste and preventing deforestation. Growing bamboo can also address climate change by storing carbon, and restore degraded land.

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