Drawing recommendations and best practices from case studies
Bamboo is a versatile plant that can provide climate-smart solutions to millions of rural communities – if its benefits are recognised by decision makers and planners and if national sustainable development policies address the benefits that bamboo can offer.
Land degradation, caused by factors like biodiversity loss, soil erosion, pollution, and water scarcity, harms the environment, disrupts agriculture, and threatens food security. It also carries economic and health risks.
Bamboo is a valuable tool for restoring degraded lands due to its ability to grow in challenging conditions, prevent soil erosion with its extensive root system, and regenerate quickly. Many countries, including Cameroon, China, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, India, Madagascar, the Philippines, and Vietnam, have recognized bamboo’s potential for sustainable land management.
Additionally, bamboo offers economic opportunities, as it grows rapidly and can be used to create various products. It has contributed to poverty alleviation and has a significant global trade value estimated at USD 60 billion.
Outlining the environmental and economic benefits of bamboo
The case studies presented in Chapter 2 offer a wide range of projects from across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Diversity aside, there are several particularly clear findings from the case studies. It is equally clear that bamboo offers an important co-benefit and can increase incomes for local residents. The case studies also make clear that, to be successful in the long term, bamboo land restoration projects require social acceptance and local buy-in, which can largely be achieved by clearly outlining the environmental and economic benefits of bamboo:
- Environmental benefits
- Livelihood gains and social acceptance
- Economic viability
INBAR Policy Synthesis reports aim to inform decision makers in government and international development partners of the benefits that bamboo and rattan can bring to their efforts to build sustainable development and green economies that improve peoples’ livelihoods.
INBAR, The International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation, is an intergovernmental organisation bringing together some 40 countries for the promotion of the ecosystem benefits and values of bamboo and rattan.