DENR eyes increased bamboo plantation

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) targets to increase the country’s production of bamboo under its Enhanced National Greening Program (ENGP) in a bid to help mitigate the impacts of climate change as it is a sustainable alternative to wood.

DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu said that through the ENGP, his department is reforesting 26,147 hectares of forestlands using bamboo this year.

“For 2022, we are allocating at least 40 percent of our target (ENGP plantation sites) for bamboo,” he said during a bamboo virtual fair.

ENGP expands the coverage of NGP, a massive forest rehabilitation program of the government, to cover all the remaining unproductive, denuded, and degraded forest.

To raise bamboo plantation in the country, Cimatu said DENR’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has mandated mining companies to rehabilitate at least 20 percent of their mined-out areas with bamboo plantation.

He said bamboo species can be used as green infrastructure in stabilizing riverbanks and streambanks, as well as a natural barrier and soil erosion control in suitable areas.

“Bamboo has many ecological significance that makes it one of the major commodities for the DENR’s rehabilitation program under the Enhanced National Greening program,” said Dr. Henry Adornado, director of DENR-Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB).

In support of the bamboo industry, Adornado said a number of technologies were generated and his bureau produced standard methods on bamboo planting stock production.

He said another one aims to provide methods on establishing bamboo plantations “to
be able to compete sustainably in the local and international markets.”

He added the ERDB provides technical assistance in the form of capacity building activities on bamboo propagation techniques, plantation establishment and management.

The DENR has estimated that the country needs to plant 40,000 hectares of bamboo plantations from 2021-2030 (P687 million annually) and 35,000 hectares of timber from 2021-2025 (P819.4 million annually) to supply 100 percent of wood demand by 2034.

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