International Network for Bamboo and Rattan

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International Network for Bamboo and Rattan
Abbreviation INBAR
Formation 1997 [1]
Type Independent intergovernmental organization
Region served
Official language
English, French, Spanish and Chinese
Dr. Hans Friederich
Parent organization
Association of International Research and Development Centers for Agriculture (AIRCA)
Website INBAR Official website

The International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR[2]) is an independent intergovernmental organization [3] established in 1997 to develop and promote innovative solutions to poverty and environmental sustainability using bamboo and rattan.[4]

INBAR is a member of the Association of International Research and Development Centers for Agriculture (AIRCA).


INBAR evolved from an informal network of bamboo and rattan researchers set up in 1984 by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada. In 1993 the network was formalized under its present name but remained a project of IDRC. Work to launch INBAR as an independent organization started in 1995, and was completed in 1997 when INBAR became an independent organization with its headquarters in Beijing, China – the first intergovernmental organization to be headquartered in the People's Republic.

Membership and structure[edit]

Membership of INBAR is open to member states of the United Nations and to intergovernmental organizations. INBAR currently has 42 member countries. INBAR's supreme governing body is the Council of representatives of its member countries which meets biennially. The Board of Trustees is the second tier of governance, and develops appropriate policies, oversees management and ensures efficient operations at its annual meetings. The Director-General is a member of the Board of Trustees and is responsible for day-to-day running of the organization. The current Director General is Dr. Hans Friederich.

INBAR's Headquarters is in Beijing, China and it has regional offices for South Asia (New Delhi, India), East Africa (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), West Africa (Kumasi, Ghana) and Latin America and the Caribbean (Quito, Ecuador). INBAR is managed by its Executive Management team, which comprises the Director General, Deputy Director General, Treasurer, and the Director of Communications and Outreach, Membership, and programmes.


INBAR works in partnership with other international and multilateral organizations to help build mutual capacity and increase the sustainability of the results of its work. Major international partners are the International Fund for Agricultural Development; the Common Fund for Commodities; the European Commission. Major bilateral partners are INBAR’s member country governments, including agencies such as the State Forestry Administration, China, and the International Development Research Centre, Canada. INBAR also partners with commercial companies such as Citi (China) to develop Public-Private Partnerships.

INBAR works on field projects with a wide range of local and national organizations such as the Tripura Bamboo and Cane Development Centre (India), the Konkan Bamboo and Cane Development Centre (India), Forest Research Institute of Ghana, Kenya Forest Research Institute, Federal Micro and Small Enterprises Development Agency (FeMSEDA) (Ethiopia) CEDERENA (Ecuador), Sacha Urku (Ecuador), CIPAP (Peru), Hogar de Cristo (Ecuador), RECOFT, Nanjing Forestry University (China), and Mozbambu (Mozambique).

INBAR aims to foster informed debate on matters that affect the development of bamboo and rattan in it member countries, and has been emphasizing support for appropriate policy development in its member countries and beyond. INBAR delivers a series of technical training and awareness courses each year and produces a wide-ranging series of online publications on a broad range of bamboo and rattan-related issues.

Bamboo and rattan for sustainable development[edit]

Bamboo and rattan can help millions of poor rural and urban producers lift themselves out of poverty and thrive. Bamboo and rattan offer a unique suite of characteristics that place it at the forefront of natural resources that can develop lives and livelihoods. Rattan is a component of tropical forests and is rarely cultivated. Cultivation of bamboo is highly desirable as it increases yield and quality of the poles and shoots harvested:

  • Bamboo should be harvested annually and non-destructively – clear cutting of bamboo is detrimental to growth, reduces productivity, and increases environmental degradation
  • Bamboo establishes rapidly after planting – the first harvest of culms comes within five years
  • Minimal investment is required to establish a plantation – propagules are cheap and easy to produce, and plants yield for many decades
  • Bamboos respond well to proper management – unmanaged stands in India yield 1 – 2 tonnes per hectare, managed stands yield over ten times that
  • Bamboos can be grown on peripheral or non-cropping land – growing bamboo need not interfere with food-cropping, and represents real increase in income and food security
  • Bamboos can be intercropped – shallow rooted food or cash crops are ideal, such as ginger, turmeric, and mushrooms
  • Growing bamboo builds on farmers’ inherent plant cultivation skills, and increases their capacity to absorb or adapt to livelihood changes and disruptions

As raw materials[edit]

  • Bamboo and rattan processing exists in many societies – processing of new products can build on existing skills and is more likely to be chosen by stakeholders than an entirely new technology
  • There are a multitude of different products that can be made from bamboo and rattan – giving producers a wide range of options, and increasing their flexibility in times of market stress
  • Bamboo and rattan lend themselves to community-based growing and processing – the range of different skills required to grow, process and market them and products made from them are often available, or can be developed, in a community
  • Many processing stages may be involved, depending on the product – this creates an opportunity for value addition at each point of transfer of ownership of the semi-finished products, forming a value chain from production to sale and end use
  • Products may require high or low levels of skill to produce, or a combination of both – some products are inherent skills dependent (such as woven articles) whereas others require skilled or semi-skilled inputs at only some stages of production. Consequently, there are opportunities for people with different skills bases and motivations to earn money from the value chain
  • Bamboo and rattan can easily be processed by women – bamboo wood is light and easy to process by hand. All bamboo processing activities are equally suitable for men and women, but in some societies growing and harvesting bamboo is seen as man’s work. Harvesting rattan requires physical strength, and is also done by men
  • Bamboo and rattan can be processed at home and in spare time – and thus money earned in this way is real additional income

As a commodity[edit]

  • Semi-processed bamboo and rattan are valuable commodities in the production chain – processing imparts value to bamboo, and intermediate products can command good prices within the production chain
  • Skilled inputs greatly increase the value of the raw material – activities such as colouring, fine splitting, and weaving impart much value to the bamboo and can be treated as separate vocations in themselves. Less skills dependent processes such as preservation treatments also add value
  • Bamboo and rattan products have low and high-value markets – products may be low-volume, high-input, such as delicately woven baskets, or high volume, low input, such as incense sticks or floorboards. Combining production of both types of product in a community increases its resilience to market shocks

See also[edit]


  1. ^ William Nikolakis, John Innes. Forests and Globalization: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Development The Earthscan Forest Library. Routledge, 2014. ISBN 1317660730. Page 173.
  2. ^ Eva Wollenberg, Andrew Ingles. Incomes from the Forest: Methods for the Development and Conservation of Forest Products for Local Communities. CIFOR, 1998. ISBN 9798764196. Page 58.
  3. ^ "Management and Utilization of Bamboo and Rattan in Papua New Guinea". Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  4. ^ "This is INBAR". Retrieved December 8, 2015.

External links[edit]