A newly-released INESAD Working Paper reveals how bamboo forests in Bolivia have a significant role to play in the global fight against climate change. The multi-author paper, entitled “A Measurement of the Carbon Sequestration Potential of Guadua Angustifolia in the Carrasco National Park“, is based on a study of an unmanaged and previously unstudied bamboo forest. INESAD researchers found that this forest has the ability to store around 100 tons of carbon per hectare, in the stems, branches, and leaves of the bamboo, which is more than some species of tree such as Chinese Fir.
The carbon stored in a forest comes from the carbon dioxide (CO2) that it absorbs. CO2 is a harmful greenhouse gas produced by the burning of fossil fuels, which accumulates in the atmosphere and traps heat. This artificial change in the composition of the atmosphere is what causes climate change. Hence forests play a vital role in mitigating climate change, because they absorb CO2 which would otherwise end up in the atmosphere. See Exactly How Do Trees Fight Climate Change? for more details about this process.
The findings of the new study prove that the protection and conservation of Bolivia’s forests is vital not only to preserve the rich biodiversity of flora and fauna contained within them, but also because they contribute significantly to mitigating the effects of climate change. The results also show the need to take into account plants, other than trees, when thinking about reforestation for the purposes of mitigating climate change. In the case of bamboo, it is not just its ability to store large amounts of carbon which makes it an ideal candidate: its natural strength and flexibility also makes it an ideal building material and it also has an extraordinarily wide range of other uses.[contact-form to=’firstname.lastname@example.org’ subject=’Mailer: Bamboo paper release’][contact-field label=’Like this article? Sign up for weekly updates from Development Roast’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Your title’ type=’select’ required=’1′ options=’Mr,Ms,Dr,Professor’/][contact-field label=’Your full name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]