Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sustainable management of bamboo forests helps to combat climate change

Zhang Jin in CRI-English: The International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), an intergovernmental organization based in Beijing, and China Green Carbon Foundation (CGCF) agreed on Wednesday to join hands on sustainable management of bamboo forests to combat climate change. As a first step, INBAR donated about 11,000 yuan to CGCF for an afforestation program to offset carbon emissions from staff flights. The money will be used to plant 300 bamboos in 0.5 hectares in East China's Zhejiang Province with an expected forestry carbon drop of 75 tons within 20 years.

Dr. Coosje Hoogendoorn, Director General of INBAR, said bamboo forests have their advantages in combating climate change compared to other forests. Since bamboo grows very fast, it fixes carbon fast. "Bamboo helps against mitigation by fixing carbon, to adaptation by protecting the forest against erosion and mudslides, and it helps with development so that even in those areas which are poor, people can improve their lives (with bamboo-related industries)," said Hoogendoorn.

According to a memorandum signed between INBAR and CGCF on Wednesday, the two parts will carry out joint efforts on research, demonstration and capacity building to combat climate change through sustainable development of bamboo forests.

The sustainable management of bamboo forests is important to their carbon storing function, said Hoogendoorn. "What we found is clear indications that when the forest is managed in a biodiversity-friendly way, it actually stores more carbon in the forest," she said. "By looking at ways of managing the bamboo forest in a sustainable way, you can increase the amount of carbon that is actually stored in the forest."…

An illustration of bamboo by Pearson Scott Foresman, who has released this image and many others into the public domain

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