From: Alex Abutu, SciDevNet, More from this Affiliate
Published December 3, 2010 08:40 AM

Bamboo can capture carbon fast, says report

[CANCUN, MEXICO] Bamboo, a wild grass that grows in Africa, Asia and Latin America, could help tackle climate change and provide income for local communities, a conference has heard. It can sequester carbon faster than similar fast-growing tree species such as Chinese fir and eucalyptus when properly managed, said Coosje Hoogendoorn, director-general of International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), based in Beijing, China.

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She was speaking today (2 December) at the launch of 'Bamboo and Climate Change Mitigation' — a report on bamboo's potential role in adaptation, mitigation and sustainable development — in a press conference held during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 16), in Cancun, Mexico.

Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on the planet — with a growth rate of up to 1.2 metres a day. It is stronger than steel, weight for weight, and its roots can reduce soil erosion by up to 75 per cent.

"Although botanically bamboo is a woody grass and not a tree, bamboo forests have comparable features to other types of forest regarding their role in the carbon cycle," the report said. "They sequester carbon through photosynthesis, and lock carbon in the fibre of the bamboo and in the soil where it grows."

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