May, 26, 2022 01:40
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Imphal, February 4, 2019 (DIPR): Chief Minister Shri N. Biren Singh opened the 3rd World Bamboo Workshop in the presence of numerous dignitaries and delegates from around 34 countries at City Convention Centre, Palace Compound in Imphal East District today.

Addressing the gathering as the chief guest, Shri N. Biren Singh observed that the present generation must do something tangible regarding bamboo promotion and plantation if they really care about sustainable development and renewable resources of the world. In this regard, he lauded the World Bamboo Organization for initiating a global movement to bring the bamboo people together for promoting the use of bamboo – bamboo for food, fuel, fibre, building materials and a renewable resource with many applications.

Maintaining that the Bamboo Society of India must also open a Manipur Chapter for a Bamboo Mission in Manipur, he also sought the assistance of international business and trading concerns like DICMA Trade, Mexico in the global marketing of all bamboo products from Manipur.

The Chief Minister said, “We share the vision of the World Bamboo Organization and sincerely seek the assistance and cooperation of their institution and sister networks, in the matter of plantation, cultivation, processing of bamboo, marketing of bamboo products and technology upgradation and skill development”.

The Chief Minister informed that India has 15.69 million hectares of land under bamboo, the second largest after China. But India’s share in world bamboo trade of 1.5 billion dollars is insignificant. The North Eastern Region of India has only 28% of land under bamboo, while it has 66% of India’s bamboo stock. The North Eastern Region and Manipur is therefore the ‘Bamboo Region’ of India, Shri N. Biren observed.

Stating that bamboo has the potential of becoming the growth engine of North East India as it is the biggest supplier of bamboo in India, Shri N. Biren Singh said that there are already two bamboo based factories in the States of Tripura and Meghalaya. However an organized value chain, from the bamboo groves to the market, national and international, is yet to emerge. This is where institutions like INBAR India and Indian Plywood Industries Research and Training Industries can play a vital role in the promotion of bamboo in North East India and Manipur, he observed.

Speaking at the occasion as the guest of honour, Textiles, Commerce and Industry Minister Shri Th. Biswajit said that a bamboo based bio-CNG plant is planned to come up in the State as per the present Bio Fuel Policy of India to mitigate climate change and ensure 100% bamboo utilization. He also informed that the Government has drafted a separate policy for bamboo under the joint efforts of the Department of Textiles, Commerce and Industry and the Department of Forest and Environment. The draft policy is ready but the Government wants to add more constructive inputs from the workshop, he said.

Stating that the Central Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had brought about many developmental changes and innovative policies, the Minister said that felling, sale and transport of bamboo is no longer subject to permission from the Government as the Narendra Modi Government had amended the Indian Forest Act, 1927 to declare bamboo as a grass and not a tree.

The Minister said that whatever has been done in the bamboo sector in Manipur is in the unorganised sector. As such, there is need for foreign, Indian and other institutional donors and experts to come up and contribute to the growth and development of bamboo in Manipur, he added. The Minister also requested the external aid agencies to initiate projects to take up bamboo plantation in the State for making bamboo industrial applications as timber substitute, bamboo for food, constructions, housing, community buildings, eco-tourism resorts, handicrafts, furniture and bamboo charcoals etc.

Speaking at the occasion, Forest and Environment Minister Shri Th. Shyamkumar said that Manipur is rich in bamboo resource, and it has immense potential for social and economic development. Since time immemorial, bamboo is an integral part of the lives of the people of Manipur and they have been using it in various practices. In fact, bamboo plays a very important role in the lives and culture of Manipur, he said while adding that bamboo is very essential for the economic development of the State. The Minister said that the State would be able to gain knowledge on advanced bamboo technologies from various experts coming from different countries during the workshop.

Konthoujam AC MLA and Working Committee Chairman of World Bamboo Workshop, Dr. Sapam Ranjan, World Bamboo Organisation (WBO) President Shri Michel Abadie, WBO Executive Director Smt. Susanne Lucas, WBO National Co-ordinator Prof. Nirmala Chongtham, CEO of DICMA Trade (Mexico), Shri Martin Motera and Chief Secretary Dr. J. Suresh Babu also graced the opening function as the dignitaries.    

MLAs, top civil and police officers of the State Government and delegates and experts from different countries were also present the occasion.

The five-day workshop is jointly organised by World Bamboo Organisation and the Government of Manipur. The workshop is being held in Manipur for the first time in Asia. The first edition of the workshop was held in Mexico in 2017 and the second edition in Peru in 2018.

World Bamboo Workshop is the largest international multi-disciplinary theoretical and practical event in which people from all over the world participate along with world leaders and experts in the use of bamboo. Delegates from around 34 countries like Mexico, US, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay, Chile, Germany, UK, France, Australia, Vietnam, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, China and Thailand etc.