From 20 to 22 April, 2022, Cameroon hosted the first African congress of bamboo and rattan. The event was organized in partnership with the International Bamboo and Rattan Organization (INBAR), whose regional office for Central Africa has been located in Cameroon since December 201. Bamboo cultivation allows the country to take advantage of the Beijing agreement on the creation of INBAR. One of the benefits is the introduction of the resource in the fight against climate change. Classified as a non-timber forest product [even though it has characteristics similar to those of wood], bamboo is increasingly sought by governments to solve environmental challenges.
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The choice of bamboo is based on its ability to absorb greenhouse gases five times more than a standing tree of equivalent volume. Scientific studies also show that a one-hectare bamboo grove can capture up to 60 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, depending on the species and type of crop. This corresponds to a retention 30 times greater than the culture of other plants. The use of bamboo is also beneficial in the fight against deforestation in a context where, between 2002 and 2020, Cameroon has lost 708,000 hectares of primary rainforest, or 48% of its total forest cover during the same period, according to Global Forest Watch.