Bamboo has a few advantages compared to other natural fibres, beside the fact that it grows fast, up to 21 cm a day, it is abundant. Bamboo is native to all continents, except for Antarctica and Europe, and is mostly found in the tropical and sub-tropical climate regions, but some bamboo is native to temperate climate zones and can therefore adapt to grow in European regions. It is a very diverse plant, since over 1600 species are known, from which, the species referred to as ‘giant bamboo’ are suited for fibre extraction and are estimated to occupy 15 million hectares.
Furthermore bamboo can help with landscape restoration, due to its potential for soil binding, which enhances erosion resistance, and has the ability to grow on degraded land. The world Resources Institute identified 2 billion hectares of deforested and degraded forest lands, with the opportunity of landscape restoration. Images below show the area where reforestation is needed, as well as how it overlaps with the growing area of bamboo. Another environmental aspect worthwhile considering is the CO2 sequestration of bamboo.
INBAR compared the CO2 sequestration of Ma bamboo (Dendrocalamus latiflorus) and an Eucalyptus plantation and found that they have comparable carbon sequestration capacity as long as the bamboo forest is managed and that for both species valuable products are made that fixate the carbon.
The area of deforested or degraded land that qualifies for landscape restoration and the world bamboo growing region.
'Delphine Depuydt KU Leuven 2018 '