30 Aug '11, 9am

Bamboo: can it live up to the 'green gold' hype?

Bamboo: can it live up to the 'green gold' hype?

From India and Indonesia to Colombia and Costa Rica, the number of bamboo plantations worldwide is rising as quickly as the fast-growing crop itself. Some of the world’s most impoverished countries are realising the potential of this versatile tree-like tropical grass, which in so many respects seems worthy of its nickname: ‘green gold.’ Because it can reach full, harvestable maturity within five years, it is being touted as an alternative to dwindling timber supplies. Its success could mean hectares of hardwood forest being saved from the chainsaw. Strong and cheap, bamboo construction projects are already repairing shattered communities in countries like earthquake-prone Haiti – but its cohesive properties work on an organic level too. Growing out of a tangle of carbon-sequestering underground stems, it can help reforest landscapes denuded by development or natural disas...

Full article: http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/1033175/ba...

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