UNORCID Features EcoPlanet Bamboo
31st May 2015
Following on from the Tropical Landscapes Summit which was convened to discuss investment opportunities associated with Indonesia's move towards a Green Economy, UNORCID, the United Nations Office for REDD+ co-ordination in Indonesia featured EcoPlanet Bamboo and CEO Troy Wiseman in a feature article.
The article highlights how EcoPlanet Bamboo's investment as a strategic private sector player in the emergence of sustainable business models, sets the stage for larger investment into this arena.
EcoPlanet Bamboo - Strategic Partner Focus
When it comes to the environment, the private sector has traditionally been viewed in one of two ways; as the bad actor and cause of the problems that the non-profit sector is now out to fix, or simply as a source of funds when such funds are needed. Engagement between these groups had traditionally depended on the non-profit sector finding fault within the way a company does business, and using that to force change. Yet times have changed and Eco Planet Bamboo has proven time and again that private sector can be a willing and capable part of the solution, and that partnerships with both non-profit and public sectors could provide scalability while leveraging previously untouchable sources of finance for issues surrounding deforestation and environmental degradation.
Deforestation, particularly in the tropical belt of the world, continues to be an issue. Without addressing a key driver – the millions of people living in remote parts of the planet who suffer from a lack of opportunity - it will be impossible to reverse negative land use change. Yet it is only in the past few years that environmental organizations have started to expand their vision to include a people or community aspect and vice versa.
Eco Planet Bamboo is built on a dual dedication to provide a sustainable alternative fiber to the world’s largest consumers of timber and fiber, and to generate sustainable livelihoods for the world’s rural poor while being competitive on any financial marketplace.
The company converts degraded land into productive, functioning ecosystems utilizing species of tropical clumping bamboo, prioritizing the use of native species. Farms occur at the landscape level, connecting fragmented remnant forest patches and natural vegetation. The underground rhizome system of clumping bamboos does not spread but stays in a compact central area, while the plant achieves canopy closure within a 3-4 year timeframe. Sustainable harvesting removes individual clumps from each plant annually, ensuring that the ecosystem benefits, including watershed management, soil protection and restoration, carbon sequestration and long term storage, and the provision of habitat for wildlife and biodiversity, is not only permanent, but economically viable and self sustaining.
With 25,000 hectares currently under development, EcoPlanet Bamboo’s farms contribute towards REDD+ objectives in a number of ways. Provision of a secure and certified fiber at the scale required by major industries including pulp and paper, textiles, engineered timber, charcoal and bioenergy, reduces pressure on remaining natural forests. Restoration of degraded land at the landscape level protects remaining forest patches and sensitive areas while acting as a significant permanent carbon sink. And finally, with provision of permanent, attractive livelihoods for rural families and communities, further pressure on remaining ecosystems is reduced.
EcoPlanet Bamboo’s model has the potential for significant application in Indonesia and across Southeast Asia, where the company is in the process of expanding. Existing farms in Ghana are an example of a public-private partnership – working hand in hand with the government through the Ghana Forestry Commission towards a joint vision to restore over 15,000 hectares of degraded land.
As with any crop, bamboo can be grown well, or it can have negative consequences. Certification of this potential resource is critical to ensure bamboo’s sustainability from the outset. EcoPlanet Bamboo has set a global framework for the sustainable production and commercialization of bamboo as a deforestation free, tree-free fiber and one that never competes with food security.
Read more about UNORCID's work here: http://www.un.or.id/en/2014-04-09-07-52-35/unorcid< Back to news < Download article