Bamboo Advocacy Gains Foothold in Cordillera

Advocacy work for the propagation of bamboo, both as a forest cover and ornamental foliage, is gaining a foothold nationwide with the creation of bamboo development councils.

Northern Dispatch
Posted by Bulatlat

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet (263 kms. North of Manila)– Advocacy work for the propagation of bamboo, both as a forest cover and ornamental foliage, is gaining a foothold nationwide with the creation of bamboo development councils.

Optimism runs high with forestry students of the Benguet State University (BSU) at the core of the bamboo advocacy in the province.

In a forum shortly before the general assembly of the Cordillera Bamboo Development Council here January 15, advocates for the propagation of the tallest and fastest growing grass on earth took turns motivating the public– mostly farmers and students- on the environmental and socio-economic gains from planting bamboo.

Undersecretary Edgar Manda, concurrent general manager of the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) said similar councils are now active in Laguna, Pampanga, Tarlac and Iloilo.

“Soon the Kidapawan council will also emerge,” Manda told the press in an interview.

He said the bamboo’s role in carbon sequestration should not be ignored. In a presentation, he said a hectare of bamboo forest takes off 12 tons of carbon dioxide from the environment in a year.

Forestry Dean Dante Chichioco said bamboo helps immensely by providing cleaner air as it captures 35 percent more carbon dioxide than any tree species. It also grows quickly and matures in four years.

Bamboo planted on tailings ponds absorbs lead, cadmium, copper and other toxic metals and chemicals, reducing the toxins in the soil. An advocate, however, warned the toxins may transfer to humans, especially the parts eaten by or are exposed to the human skin.

Economic benefits can also be derived from by-products that come from the leaves, sheath, trunk, shoots and roots of the bamboo.

As a food crop, bamboo shoots are a protein supplement in the diet, thus a meat extender in burgers and other meat dishes. Ilocanos cook it with saluyot (a high-calcium, high-iron leafy vegetable) to make a delicacy seasoned with bagoong (salted fish). Atchara, pickled, or sautéed with mongo sprouts and bean noodles is a dish from the Tagalog region.

To entice people further to venture into bamboo production, Manda said he is launching the bamboo house-designing contest for architects and engineers. Philippine bamboo houses are reportedly gaining popularity especially among European tourists, who come for the airy and cool ambiance.

Forester Fatima Tangan of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said there is money in bamboo.

“We have to plant and that is the first step in coming up with a bamboo forest,” Tangan said, reacting to queries on the monetary returns from planting bamboos.

She is propagating and marketing ornamental bamboo species, which landscapers use in home gardens and parks.

China is emerging as the top exporter of bamboo products. A video presentation showed factories in China producing in bulk barbecue sticks, toothpicks, fiber boards and lumber out of bamboo and its “wastes.” Northern Dispatch/ Posted

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2 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Hi
    I would like to contact Dr. Fatima TANGAN. COuld you provide a contact email or phone number?


    Derrick Hill

  2. We have a small farm in Baguio and are very interested in planting these bamboo trees. Where can we get seedlings to start us off and how can we propagate these trees?

    I will be in Baguio this weekend … how can we get in touch with Mr. Manda or Ms. Tangan? My cellphone is 0917.832 9344.

    Please send me info. Thank you.

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