Bamboo and Sustainable Economy
Bamboo can pull the string of a sustainable economy, at least it is one of the good models.
How does a sustainable bamboo economy look like? A well-managed sustainable bamboo economy should include not only producing eco-friendly products for consumption, but also well-managed bamboo forestry and recycling systems of industry residues.
Let’s start with Dr. Xie Jinghong's example, who is the Director of the China sub-tropical forestry research institute. He shared the case of using bamboo biomass residues to cultivate edible fungi, which is already an established industry in China. The chemical composition of bamboo biomass is very similar to the wood’s and thus a good foundation for fungi, mushroom growth. What a sustainable way to recycle what’s left by bamboo production and bamboo harvesting, turn wastes into treasures.
Bamboo can be planted to provide economical values, its forest can restore the landscape, protect riverbanks, alleviate landslides. Bamboo’s complicated root systems ensured its grasp on the sand/soil, and also help to cultivate soil health. Thus, it’s important to manage the bamboo forest, and harvest sustainably, not taking more than it can regenerate.
China has a crop+bamboo forestry system:
Bamboo + crop
Bamboo + tea
Bamboo + mushroom
Bamboo + medicine
Bamoo + rattan
And even, bamboo + livestock (chicken)
This kind of economical bamboo forestry allows communities to extract more value from bamboo forests, enhance their interests in protecting them, maintaining them well. But we still have a long way to go in order to reach more sustainable points. There are still countless opportunities for all around the world on bamboo leading sustainable economy.