Regional network formed to explore bamboo possibilities
Rhodina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - September 12, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A regional network that will explore the vast potential of bamboo for environmental sustainability and economic resiliency in the midst of climate change will soon be established, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has announced.

The creation of the ASEAN Bamboo Network was the most prominent feature of the resolution adopted by participants in the Associtation of Southeast Asian Nations Bamboo Congress held in Iloilo City recently.

Participants included environment officials, scientists and researchers in Southeast Asia as well as representatives from the World Bamboo Organization, Brazil, Qatar and Peru.?               

DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu described the resolution as a “decisive output” of the conference as it enabled formal commitment of the signatories toward “a sustainable and climate resilient future for the entire region.”?               

“With this resolution, we are assuring that we will put our utmost endeavors in the continuous research and development in bamboo production technologies, as well as stronger linkages within the ASEAN region,” Cimatu said.?               

Bamboo is widely recognized as a “versatile renewable resource” that protects the environment, improves the microclimate, controls soil erosion, protects riverbanks, reduces flash floods, serves as windbreak and sequesters atmospheric carbon efficiently.?               

It also has good properties comparable to most wood species and offers a variety of uses either in its unmanufactured form or as processed into engineered products, and as such, reduces the demand burden for wood-based products from the forests thereby arresting deforestation.?               

The attendees to the regional conference were convinced that engaging in bamboo production and the manufacture of bamboo products provide job opportunities and steady income for farmer groups, local communities, artisans and workers along the value chain.               

The bamboo congress is slated to be held every three years.

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