Global Forest Resources Assessment
Thematic study on bamboo
Bamboo is an integral part of tropical and subtropical forests, and bamboo resources have increasing importance in poverty alleviation and sustainable development of the rural poor.
The inclusion of bamboo among the seven thematic studies under FRA 2005 seeks to raise awareness of the value, dynamics and importance of the bamboo sector – attracting investment and formulating and redesigning forest policies.
The FRA 2005 thematic study on bamboo is a joint effort of FAO and the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR).
Following the general methodology of the FRA 2005 country reports, the specifically designed bamboo reports included information on the extent and characteristics of bamboo resources, ownership, growing stock, and amount and value of removals. The information provided by 22 country reports was analysed, reviewed and, where needed, complemented by additional information from a literature search and expert consultations. Two workshops were organized to discuss the design of the study and then the preliminary results. Additional information was obtained from the Production to consumption studies already carried out by INBAR in various countries. With the integration of existing information through a systematic data-collection procedure, the thematic study constitutes a focused investigation into the extent of bamboo resources on a global scale.
Bamboo is often intermixed with other species or is cultivated outside forests, along village and farm boundaries, which presents a challenge to the study. For this reason, the ‘bamboo forest’ can have different definitions. In addition, most harvesting and trade occur locally among villages, with no official records. These combined factors explain why current bamboo resource statistics are inconsistent, fragmented and in need of upgrading. Nevertheless, steps to improve the availability of quantitative data have been made by several countries, in recognition of the importance of bamboo to poverty alleviation, forest conservation and economic and environmental development. The main value of this study is thus the development of a systematic methodology for the recording of bamboo forest characteristics and sector data.
Non-Wood Forest Products 18