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Bamboo—solution to problems

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image of Journal of Bamboo and Rattan

The world is facing a number of problems to which bamboo could provide a partial solution. There is a near certainty of wood shortage in the near future. Compounding that is the withdrawal from wood production of forests for conservation reasons. The world population is becoming more urbanised. When employment is provided in rural areas there is a wish that it should have the appropriate scale and adequate local participation in decision-making. Thus, to have a partial impact on these problems, a solution is needed that has the following characteristics:

• A product can be produced that substitutes for wood in the widest range of uses.

• The production of that product has positive environmental impacts.

• The product can be made in a rural environment to assist in reducing the pressure of urbanisation.

• The scale of production should be such that rural people are not displaced by it and can participate meaningfully in the activity.

Development based on bamboo can very definitely provide part of the answer. Bamboo products do substitute very widely for wood-based products. Bamboo is an easy plant to raise and can be grown in small clumps on under-used land on farms. Raising it therefore has the appropriate scale for people's involvement. Bamboo is kinder to the environment than many agricultural crops. Bamboo industries moreover can be created at craft level with maximum villager involvement and relatively low capital requirements. Bamboo based industries can therefore provide the time and space for evolutionary development of the rural economy.

10.1163/156915902760181577
/content/journals/10.1163/156915902760181577
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/content/journals/10.1163/156915902760181577
2002-04-01
2016-12-03

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