Bamboo can reduce effects of climate change – NGO
Bamboo is a plant that can absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) for a longer period of time, making it a potential climate mitigation measure in terms of carbon sequestration.
As a result, the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) is advocating for the full utilisation of the evergreen flowering plant for environmental benefits, climate change solutions, and livelihood development.
According to Michael Kwaku, West Africa Regional Director, says of INBAR, after years of public education and awareness creation, there is a greater appreciation for the use of bamboo and rattan in Ghana.
According to him, the network is currently focused on improving skills and introducing advanced tools to instil innovation and design in bamboo products.
“People have been using bamboo and rattan but what is challenging is that many of them are not innovative enough to introduce new designs. Most of the designs are a bit monotonous and that gives that buyer an upper hand over the producers. So if we are to come up with innovations, it offers value and varieties to choose from, while giving the producer a better bargaining power,” said Michael.
A sharp increase in single-use plastics, which are almost entirely made from fossil fuels, has seriously harmed the planet’s well-being. After being discarded, they form massive waste mounds that enter terrestrial and marine ecosystems. They breakdown into microplastics as they degrade, contaminating food sources and potentially harming human health.
Bamboo and rattan are two forest resources with numerous ecological benefits as a nature-based solution to numerous global challenges such as climate change, plastic pollution, eradicating absolute poverty, and achieving green development.
INBAR and the Chinese delegation to the climate change talks will promote bamboo as an alternative to plastic at COP27.
“We are trying to depart from the use of plastic cutlery in airplanes and use of plastic flower pots. Bamboo can help replace single-use plastic for wood cutlery, cups, straws, paper and packaging, while being recyclable at the end of their lifespan,” said Michael.
The Bamboo as a Plastic Substitute Initiative serves as a road map for dramatically increasing the use of bamboo as a renewable resource. It is motivated by the dual goals of reducing plastic pollution while also addressing climate change.
Mr. Michael Kwaku acknowledged that Ghana does not lack policies in the promotion of bamboo and rattan.
“What is left is to ensure the implementation of these policies, and as we implement them, we can review and improve. I am hoping the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources will lead in terms of promoting the environment and livelihood components of bamboo,” he concluded.
Source: Energy Ghana