Bamboo Could Be a Savior for Climate Change
Desmond Brown - Inter Press Service
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October 17, 2014

So what makes bamboo the perfect alternative for building with lumber? Not only is it as strong as mild steel with the unique ability to bend instead of break during hurricanes or earthquakes, but it's one of the fastest growing plants around. (BambooLiving)

Bamboo has been part of Jamaica’s culture for thousands of years, but it has never really taken off as a tool or an option to resolve some of the challenges the country faces.

That’s until recently.

Last month, the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) announced the country would embark on the large-scale production of bamboo for the construction of low-cost houses and value-added products such as furniture and charcoal for the export market.

It is still in the early stages, but Jamaica is being hailed for the project which the director of the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), Dr. Hans Friederich, said has enormous potential for protecting the natural environment and biodiversity and mitigating against climate change.

“The plant bamboo, and there are about 1,250 different species, has a very important role to play in environmental protection and climate change mitigation. Bamboos have very strong and very extensive root systems and are therefore amazing tools to combat soil erosion and to help with land degradation restoration,” Friederich told IPS.

“More bamboo will absorb more CO2 and therefore help you with your REDD+ targets, but once you cut that bamboo and you use it, you lock the carbon up, and bamboo as a grass grows so fast you can actually cut it after about four or five years, unlike trees that you have to leave for a long time.

“So by cutting bamboo you have a much faster return on investment, you avoid cutting trees and you provide the raw material for a whole range of uses,” he explained.

Read the whole story at Inter Press Service

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