FG Urges Nigerians to Cultivate Bamboo Trees to Fight Climate Change
The Nigerian Federal Government is encouraging its citizens to cultivate bamboo trees as a measure to fight climate change. This initiative is supported by the Chinese Government, which, through the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, has expressed its readiness to enhance the use of bamboo in Nigeria by setting up a bamboo industry.
During the 2023 World Bamboo Day celebration in Abuja, themed ‘Environmental Restoration and Job Creation’, the Minister of Environment, Malam Balarabe Lawal, stated that the ministry is committed to creating a more sustainable future for Nigerians, building on the outcomes of the recently concluded COP28 Global Climate Summit in Dubai, UAE. One of the strategies to achieve this is by promoting the cultivation and use of bamboo in the country.
Lawal highlighted that bamboo cultivation not only helps in preserving the environment but also provides opportunities for economic growth and poverty reduction. He pointed out that bamboo’s diverse applications across various economic sectors make it a valuable resource for job creation and income generation.
He said, “Bamboo plays a crucial role in combating climate change. Its ability to sequester carbon dioxide and release oxygen surpasses that of many other plant species. It contributes to the preservation of our environment and offers opportunities for economic growth and poverty alleviation.”
He further explained that bamboo’s fast growth, strength, and adaptability make it an ideal resource for sustainable development and resource management. He referred to bamboo as ‘green gold’, acknowledging its integral role in our culture and heritage for centuries.
Lawal also mentioned that a bamboo processing factory is being set up in Karara, Kogi State. The factory aims to enhance local content development by producing bamboo toothpicks and other products.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Lawrence Adigwe, the director overseeing the office of the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, stated that promoting bamboo cultivation would boost biodiversity. He noted that bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants on earth, capable of reaching maturity within a few years, making it an excellent tool for combating deforestation through reforestation and afforestation.
Gene Zhang, a representative from the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, reiterated their commitment to enhancing the use of bamboo in Nigeria by establishing a bamboo industry in the country. He expressed China’s willingness to assist Nigeria in setting up the bamboo industry.