Bamboo as better alternative to wood

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Saturday, February 4, 2017

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 ASIDE from being a fast growing grass, bamboo is also resilient to fire and is a better alternative to wood. It also stands as one of the best conservation materials nature has ever produced, disclosed by Director Henry A. Adornado of the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB).

ERDB, a line bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), is spearheading the conduct of training on bamboo propagation, plantation development and rehabilitation to regional offices of the DENR. The first to train is DENR Region 6, which started on Jan. 31. Two days of the 3-day training was spent on actual field practicum in Maasin town, Iloilo.

The training is in line with the implementation of Bamboo Plantation Development Project (BPDP) under the enhanced National Greening Program (eNGP) from 2017 to 2022. The DENR targets to plant bamboo across one million hectare nationwide, especially within the country’s critical watersheds. Meanwhile, the DENR-6 has a target of 3,898 hectares to be planted with bamboo regionwide.


“Bamboo is one of the best natural defenses to tsunami and since most of us live in low lying areas, bamboo can help protect the coastal communities. It is one of the best conservation material but with low maintenance compared to other plantation. In fact, bamboo is sturdy than wood. In cases of forest fires, once bamboo is burned but left with remaining shoots, it will sprout again in a few weeks,” said Adornado.

Bamboo growth rate is at 1 meter per day and is an effective tool in addressing soil erosion, landslides and flooding. It can sequester 12 tons of carbon dioxide per hectare per year. Bamboo shoots as a food is rich in fiber, nutrients and vitamin A, B and C. It is also used in fiber and clothing, pulp and paper production, food ingredients, architecture, and construction, among others.

 “We must be grateful that we are the first to be given this training. We are a bamboo-producing region and we have an abundance of it in Maasin, Iloilo. But we should plant and grow bamboo in a science-based manner. Through this training, we will learn that there are many bamboo species we can grow,” said Dr. Alicia L. Lustica, cluster head of Biodiversity, Coastal, Wetlands, and Ecotourism Research Center (BCWERC).

The training is designed to equip people’s organizations, DENR-6 field personnel (PENROs/CENROs), local government units, and even the private sector with technical knowledge and skills to train and assist partners on bamboo production, plantation establishment and management and other important skills related to bamboo production and utilization.

With proper implementation, the BPDP is seen to stabilize riverbanks in a cost-effective and environment-friendly strategy. Bamboos are also natural buffer for water course and serves as a social fence for communities living near lakes and other bodies of water.

“Bamboo grows well in most areas here in Region 6 and this is the kind of project which our POs can make livelihood from within a short period of time. We are also seeing big supply opportunity in bamboo,” said DENR-6 regional director Jim O Sampulna.


ERDB supervising science research specialist Gregorio E. Santos Jr. was the resource speaker for the training. He tackled four modules during the first day including bamboo propagation and care; preparation of potting media and nursery management; plantation establishment, care and maintenance; and action planning and presentation./PN




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