Philippines bats for the sustainable bamboo industry

MANILA – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Friday drummed up the importance of bamboo as it aims to establish a sustainable bamboo industry in the country.

“Because DENR takes charge of the raw materials, we would like to raise awareness on the importance of planting and investing on bamboo as we consider it as the green gold of our forest,” Lourdes Wagan, director of the DENR Forest Management Bureau, during the kickoff of the bamboo planting activity held at the Batasang Pambansa in celebration of the World Bamboo Day.

WORLD BAMBOO DAY. In commemoration of the World Bamboo Day, the DENR conducted simultaneous bamboo planting in 99 sites nationwide on Friday (Sept. 18, 2020). Being one of the world’s fastest-growing plants, the agency is looking at planting bamboo to hasten the increase of Philippine forest cover. (Photo from DENR FB page)

A simultaneous planting activity was also held in 99 sites nationwide.

Wagan said aside from the bamboo’s vital role in soil stabilization, erosion control, sequestration of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, it is a vital remediation material that can reduce exposure to toxic environmental contaminants.

Being one of the world’s fastest-growing plants, she said bamboo plantation development can hasten the increase of the country’s forest cover because it grows faster than any other plant and contributes to the improvement of air quality as it produces 35 percent more oxygen than trees.

Wagan said that from 2011 to 2019, the DENR has already established 84,000 hectares of land for bamboo and that next year, the agency is targeting to plant more than 50 percent of their target.

“The department envisions to develop sustainable plantation as an alternative support to the wood industry kasi ang dami dami nating ngayong ini-import na mga (because the country now has so many imported) materials and hopefully in the future, we will be entering into engineered bamboo,” she said.

She added that even the mining sectors through the Mines and Geosciences have already committed to establishing at least 14,000 hectares of bamboo plantations across the country.

Under the Enhanced National Greening Program (ENGP), the government’s flagship reforestation initiative, the DENR is set to cover 16,867 hectares of land nationwide with bamboo trees. (PNA)

By Marita Moaje  September 18, 2020