|(United States Of America)|
Increasing demand for timber and fiber continues to put pressure on forests globally, and although sustainability issues are a hot topic, market economics ultimately win and the forest loses.
Over the past three years EcoPlanet Bamboo has driven the development of commercial plantations of non invasive tropical clumping bamboo around one core pillar – to set in stone the benchmarks and framework for the industrialization of bamboo as an alternative fiber in a way that addresses issues of social and environmental concern.
EcoPlanet Bamboo’s recently concluded first phase of growth, the strategically located reforestation of approximately 10,000 acres of highly degraded land, in some of the poorest and least developed regions of Central America and Southern Africa, was focused on being demonstrative.
Proving that bamboo could be successfully produced at a commercial scale across different species and climates from both seed and tissue culture plantlets; proving that climate change benefits (accredited by the Verified Carbon Standard), as well as biodiversity and social co-benefits (accredited by the Climate, Community, Biodiversity Alliance) could be achieved; and ultimately proving that bamboo could be produced in a truly sustainable manner through the early acquisition of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Forest Management certification for the Rio Siquia and Rio Kama plantations.
In addition to these certifications, EcoPlanet Bamboo’s plantations have received independent accreditation from a range of institutions, from the World Bank to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Such accreditation demonstrates that a for-profit company can earn strong financial returns in a sustainable and transparent way, while positively impacting the lives of the poor, improving the environment, and protecting the planet. EcoPlanet Bamboo is hopeful that this success will set a new global benchmark for the industrialization of bamboo.
With this framework strongly in place to guide the development of each new plantation, EcoPlanet Bamboo has set its sights on a second phase of growth – achieving the reforestation of 1 million acres of highly degraded land into fully functioning commercial bamboo forests, with a focus on Southeast Asia, Brazil and Africa.
Split into manageable operations of 25,000 – 100,000 acres, these are to be dedicated plantations; each one co-developed alongside timber dependent manufacturing companies within strategic locations globally, providing them the ability to create a long-term competitive price advantage, secure supply and a meeting of each entity’s sustainability goals.
“While our achievements to date are still a long way from our 1,000,000 acre goal, they have proved not only that we can, but that we are committed to industrializing bamboo in a way that benefits the local community, is environmentally positive, and enables the feedstock security that multinational corporations require to ultimately move away from unsustainable logging practices, and make the switch to an alternative fiber,” says Troy Wiseman, CEO of EcoPlanet Bamboo Group.
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