World Bamboo Workshop kicks off
CM underscores bamboo plantation for sustainable development

Source: >The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 04 2019: World Bamboo Organization Executive Director Susanne Lucas has called for growing more bamboos in the State and throughout the world in general, stating the bamboo is a sustainable alternative for a greener future.

Delivering presidential speech at the inaugural function of the 3rd World Bamboo Workshop 2019, which kicked off at City Convention Centre, here today, the Executive Director pointed out that food, fuel, fibre and different products made or extracted from bamboo, are the opportunities/possibilities that the world will get when more bamboos are grown.

She went on to state that innovation, technology, information exchange and partnership among the countries could alleviate the livelihood of many people in Manipur, India and throughout the world.

Such effort could also contain the issue of climate change apart from providing health care features for everyone and all the animals living in the planet, Susanne added.

Lauding the State for showing warm hospitality to her and the delegates coming from other countries, she said that the 3rd World Bamboo Workshop is being organized in Manipur in consideration of the State's rich bamboo resource.

World Bamboo Workshop kicks off
World Bamboo Workshop kicks off

She also opined that sustenance/continuation of adding innovative ideas and product development in traditional bamboo works and arts, will raise the level of artisans in Manipur to higher standards.

On the other hand, speaking as the chief guest, Chief Minister N Biren observed that the present generation must do something tangible regarding bamboo promotion and plantation if they really care about sustainable development and renewable resources of the world.

In this regard, he lauded the World Bamboo Organization for initiating a global movement to bring the bamboo people together for promoting the use of bamboo - bamboo for food, fuel, fibre, building materials and as a renewable resource with many applications.

Maintaining that the Bamboo Society of India must also open a Manipur Chapter for a Bamboo Mission in Manipur, he also sought the assistance of international business and trading bodies like DICMA Trade, Mexico in the global marketing of all bamboo products from Manipur.

The Chief Minister said, "We share the vision of the World Bamboo Organization and sincerely seek the assistance and cooperation of their institution and sister networks, in the matter of plantation, cultivation, processing of bamboo, marketing of bamboo products and technology upgrading and skill development".

The Chief Minister informed that India has 15.69 million hectares of land covered with bamboo, the second largest after China.

But India's share in world bamboo trade of 1.5 billion dollars is insignificant.

The North Eastern region of India has only 28 percent of land under bamboo, while it has 66 percent of India's bamboo stock.

The North Eastern region and Manipur is therefore the 'Bamboo Region' of India, N Biren observed.

Stating that bamboo has the potential of becoming the growth engine of North East India as it is the biggest supplier of bamboo in India, Biren said that there are already two bamboo-based factories in the States of Tripura and Meghalaya.

However, an organized value chain, from the bamboo groves to the market, national and international, is yet to emerge.

This is where institutions like INBAR India and Indian Plywood Industries Research and Training Industries can play a vital role in the promotion of bamboo in North East India and Manipur, he observed.

Speaking at the occasion as the guest of honour, Textiles, Commerce and Industry Minister Th Biswajit said that a bamboo-based bio-CNG plant is planned to come up in the State as per the present Bio Fuel Policy of India to mitigate climate change and ensure 100 percent bamboo utilization.

He also informed mat the Government has drafted a separate policy for bamboo under the joint efforts of the Department of Textiles, Commerce and Industry and the Department of Forest and Environment.

The draft policy is ready but the Government wants to add more constructive inputs from the workshop.

Stating that the Central Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi had brought about many developmental changes and innovative policies, the Minister said that felling, sale and transport of bamboo is no longer subject to permission from the Government as the Narendra Modi Government had amended the Indian Forest Act, 1927 to declare bamboo as a grass and not a tree.

The Minister said that whatever has been done in the bamboo sector in Manipur is in the unorganised sector.

As such, there is need for foreign, Indian and other institutional donors and experts to come up and contribute to the growth and development of bamboo in Manipur, he added.

The Minister also requested the external aid agencies to initiate projects to take up bamboo plantation in the State for making bamboo industrial applications as timber substitute, bamboo for food, constructions, housing, community buildings, eco-tourism resorts, handicraft, furniture and bamboo charcoals etc.

Speaking at the occasion, Forest and Environment Minister Th Shyamkumar said that Manipur is rich in bamboo resource and it has immense potential for social and economic development.

Since time immemorial, bamboo is an integral part of the lives of the people of Manipur and they have been using it in various practices.

In fact, bamboo plays a very important role in tile lives and culture of Manipur, he said, while adding that bamboo is very essential for the economic development of the State.

The Minister said that the State would be able to gain knowledge on advanced bamboo technologies from various experts coming from different countries during the workshop.

World Bamboo Workshop National Coordinator and World Bamboo Organization Ambassador Professor Nirmala Chongtham, who also attended as a guest of honour, lamented that the people in the State and North East region have no adequate knowledge regarding the values and usage of bamboo although the said region is blessed with very rich bamboo resource.

Konthoujam AC MLA and Working Committee Chairman of World Bamboo Workshop, Dr Sapam Ranjan, World Bamboo Organisation (WBO) President Michel Abadie, CEO of DICMA Trade (Mexico), Martin Motera and Chief Secretary Dr J Suresh Babu also graced the opening function as the dignitaries.

MLAs, top civil and police officers of the State Government and delegates and experts from different countries were also present.

The five-day workshop is jointly organised by World Bamboo Organisation and the Government of Manipur.

The workshop is being held in Manipur for the first time in Asia.

The first edition of the workshop was held in Mexico in 2017 and the second edition in Peru in 2018.World Bamboo Workshop is the largest international multi-disciplinary theoretical and practical event in which people from all over the world participate along with world leaders and experts in the use of bamboo.

It is participated by delegates from around 34 countries like Mexico, US, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay, Chile, Germany, UK, France, Australia, Vietnam, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, China and Thailand etc.

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