Our goal is to stimulate a deeper understanding of the applications of sustainable bamboo farming to all age classes.
Bamboo is a fascinating plant intricately woven in the lives of Filipinos. It has a wide range of uses (more than a thousand identified by various researchers.) We have on-going studies on the ethnobotanical uses of bamboo. Our bamboo journey has taken us to a number of bamboo-rich areas in the Philippines and other parts of the world. One of our projects gave rise to a photo documentation of the social, cultural, environmental and economic uses of bamboo in the Philippines.
Bamboo is a highly sustainable plant. It attains full size in just 3-4 months (you could watch it grow!) and matures in 3-5 years depending on the species, compared to tropical trees which take 20-30 years to mature. Bamboo regenerates every year and its life span stretches between 40-80 years.
Being the fastest growing plant in this planet, their photosynthetic rates are extremely high making them the best crop for carbon sequestration. Bamboo is a magnificent carbon sink. It can sequester more carbon comparable to fast-growing tropical and sub-tropical trees. However, if left on the ground after they become mature and harvestable, sequestered carbon will also return to the atmosphere. Thus, for CO2 to remain trapped they should be utilized as durable products such as construction materials and furniture or drank and eaten to obtain its nutritional values rather than leaving them on the forest floor.
Their ability for biomass production has also made them an excellent candidate for biofuel.
They play a significant role in biodiversity conservation and contribute to soil and water management. Bamboo forests provide valuable environmental services such as erosion control and windbreak. Their extensive rhizome system stabilizes soils on slopes and riverbanks. Thus, they are important for securing the hydrological function of catchments and rivers.
In developing models of bamboo-based agroforestry systems, our goal is to stimulate a deeper understanding of the applications of sustainable bamboo farming to all age classes. We have developed several models of bamboo-based agroforestry systems: