Growing bamboo is a viable strategy for climate change adaptation and achieving sustainability, according to a recent disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) forum.
The DRRM forum led by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) was attended by 65 participants representing 20 local government units and organizations coming from various parts of the country.
The forum served as a venue to inform and build networking for local bamboo stakeholders in Mindanao. It was also designed to spread awareness on the benefits of bamboo in DRR efforts and how communities with large resources of bamboo could take part in the Carbon Crediting initiatives.
The first set of speakers consisted of Atty. Burt Estrada, CEO of Bukidnon Tagoloanon Mulahay Ha Kabukalagan Agriculture Cooperative (BUKTAMACO), and Christopher Ua-o, Head of Manufacturing at Rizome Philippines.
They emphasized bamboo’s transformative impact in Indigenous People Areas through the Bamboo Value Chain Development Program.
“The program increased the family income of people involved in the program,” Estrada added while mentioning the program’s effect on enhancing community resilience in disaster-prone areas.
He also said bamboo is a sustainable solution in disaster-prone regions, offering economic opportunities and enhancing resilience.
Moreover, Ua-o stressed the importance of collaborative efforts between community-based organizations, businesses, and policymakers. He underscored the significance of these alliances in championing bamboo’s role in DRR.
“When we use more bamboo then we avoid using wood, steel and concrete which are responsible for 25 percent of our carbon dioxide emission,” he said.
The second panel delved into government and policy support for carbon crediting bamboo, featuring insights from Director Romulo Aggangan of DOST-Forest Products Research and Development Institute, Dr. Florentino Tesoro of Bamboo Professionals, Inc. and Rene “Butch” Madarang, Executive Director of the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council.
Tesoro discussed the history and concept of carbon crediting and its relation to the global push against climate change.
Aggangan stressed the need for research and development to optimize bamboo’s growth and carbon sequestration capabilities, emphasizing the importance of science and innovation.
Meanwhile, Madarang reaffirmed support from NGOs to bamboo initiatives and its future role in carbon crediting, “by recognizing [Bamboo’s] versatile properties, its role in disaster resilience, its soil stabilization capabilities, and its potential to earn carbon credits, we are poised to harness bamboo’s full potential.”
In the Open Forum and Press Conference led by PIA 10 Regional Director Franklin Gumapon, they explored bamboo processing challenges in Mindanao and the necessary government support for processors.
Myrna Decipulo, recognized as one of the pillars of the bamboo industry in Mindanao, underscored the forum’s significance in advancing crucial conversations for the region’s bamboo sector.
The forum is part of the activities of HANDA Pilipinas: Innovations in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Exposition Mindanao leg. This nationwide event is the first DRRM exposition in Mindanao.
Image credits: Gregg Yan