An August 11-12, 2016 regional workshop in Yaounde will highlight its strength in carbon trading, landscape restoration and job creation.

 

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Cameroon will on August 11-12, 2016 serve as an experience-sharing ground on how bamboo and rattan products, hitherto neglected and which the country has in huge quantities, could be harnessed to give a push to the green economy drive, restore land for agriculture, job and wealth creation for the thousands unemployed or underemployed citizens. It is within the framework of a “Bamboo Carbon Forestry, Landscape Restoration and Sustainable Use” workshop jointly organized by a China-based International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) and the government of Cameroon in partnership with China Green Carbon Fund, NEPAD et al for all countries of the Congo Basin Forest Commission (COMIFAC).

Briefing Cameroon Tribune in Beijing ahead of the workshop, INBAR’s Director General Hans Friederich said the forum will group private sector investors, bamboo entrepreneurs, bamboo carbon forestry experts, government officials and other stakeholders to also share best practices on greenhouse gas emissions reduction standards. China that has gone places in harnessing the potentials will through her experts school participants on ways of adapting existing carbon accounting methodologies for bamboo afforestation/reforestation projects. 

The choice of Cameroon, organizers noted, is based on the strong support given by the country’s embassy in Beijing. According to Cameroon’s Ambassador to China, H.E. Martin Mpana, “Bamboo and rattan have hidden wealth which Cameroon and Africa must uncover and harness to improve on their socio-economic situations.” The diplomat hinted that with some over 1,250 species that grow naturally in the tropical and sub-tropical belt across Africa, bamboo and rattan can add real value to income-generation, biodiversity and climate change mitigation strategies. Cameroon, he added, has huge potentials awaiting optimal harnessing.

For efficiency, the embassy, Ambassador Martin Mpana told CT, accompanied a dozen of Mayors from Cameroon some years back to bamboo and rattan-rich provinces of China for them to see the strides of the products there and clinch networking deals with the municipal authorities. An operation which paid off as Cameroon and INBAR in December 2013 signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the development of the products in a green economy. Reason why the Yaounde workshop is being preceded by a training of bamboo and rattan artisans in Cameroon on ‘Product innovation, quality and marketing.’