Propagation of climate-smart bamboo on 1,500 towns nationwide signed by government, legislators

February 22, 2023

A memorandum of agreement will be entered by the National Movement of Young Legislators Alumni Association (NMYLAA) for bamboo’s propagation on 1,500 towns nationwide as bamboo carbon offsets are now upheld by the International Bamboo and Rattan Organization (INBAR).

The NMYLAA is signing the MOA with the Department of Trade and Industry Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council (DTI-PBIDC).

The program will be fulfilling a plan for many years now via Executive Order 879 to position bamboo not only as a primary climate tool and plant species against man-made disasters but as a crop for use as an industrial raw material.

“We are meeting this week with (DTI) Secretary (Alfredo) Pascual for this program to plant bamboo nationwide,” said PBIDC Vice Chairman Deogracias Victor B. Savellano.

“We are adopting the Filipinism of Jose Rizal in Dapitan as we want to make our agriculture areas productive.”

The Philippines is a signatory to several global treaties on climate change including the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (1992), Kyoto Protocol (1997), and Paris Agreement (2015).

To align programs with these commitments, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issued DENR Administrative Order 2021-43 on a carbon accounting and forest carbon project certification.

It is supporting investments in forest plantation activities that sequester carbon dioxide and avoid emissions from deforestation and degradation.

Correspondingly, the International Bamboo and Rattan Organization (INBAR) has supported carbon offsets for bamboo. It recognized bamboo can store substantial carbon. A 30-year giant bamboo plantation can 1.7 times the amount of carbon Chinese fir trees can produce.

“Countries, particularly in tropical and subtropical areas where bamboo grows, should make efforts to include bamboo in national and international carbon markets, as well as their national climate strategies,” INBAR said.

NMYLAA just held last February 11-12 a visioning in Rizal, Zamboanga del Norte that included strategic planning on bamboo.

NMYLA’As Project Climate Change is a mitigation (reduction of greenhouse gas emission) strategy focusing on bamboo due to its fast-growing nature. Bamboo will be used to enhance oxygen presence, reduce pollution, reduce flooding and disaster-related incidences, and improve soil condition.

Bamboo is envisioned to be used for biofuel, food, crafts. It can be developed as raw material for architectural and construction purposes, “ultimately playing a large role in the economy by creating job opportunities,” said Savellano.

The NMYLAA’s mission on Filipinism is also embraced. The innovations of national hero Jose Rizal in his exile in Dapitan, particularly on agriculture, infrastructure, education, and medicine are popularized.

Bamboo is also part of NMYLAA’s Project Disaster Preparedness and Project Farm Tourism.

“Barangays will have additional activity and will provide an additional source of income to communities. Farm tourism draws visitors to the barangay with activities as harvesting crops, feeding and caring for farm animals, fishing, camping, hiking, and sampling local cuisine (bamboo included,)” he said.

PBIDC will be reaching out to the grassroots through the bamboo production by tapping competent barangay leaders to carry this out.

The program can avail of prevailing government programs to support the bamboo propagation.

DENR DAO 2021-43 grants incentives to the private sector, upland organizations, and other entities in forest protection through verified carbon certificates. It will provide a standardized guidance for measurement of carbon projects. A registry for all forest carbon projects will be put up.

The DAO”s Carbon Accounting, Verification, and Certification System (CAVCS) harmonizes with the principles of the Philippine National Standard (PNS), Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and Good Practice Guidance for Land Use.

CAVCS projects will have a life of a minimum of 20 years to guarantee stability and long term gain.

The government is funding Forest Carbon Project Plans of investors. (Melody Mendoza Aguiba)

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