South-South cooperation with bamboo at the International Horticultural Exhibition 2019

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The International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation is taking part in the world’s largest horticultural exhibition, which opened in Beijing this month

1 May 2019 – On April 29, the International Horticultural Exhibition (Expo 2019) opened just outside Beijing, China. The theme of the Exhibition is ‘Live Green, Live Better’, and it is set to be one of the largest expositions ever held: it covers 500 hectares of land, runs for six months, and will be visited by a number of heads of state as well as an estimated 16 million guests. The aim of the Expo is to showcase how to ‘live green, live better’.

The International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation, INBAR, has been invited to host a large Garden at the Expo 2019, to promote the use of nature-based solutions for sustainable development and environmental protection. The Garden includes:

  • A ‘Bamboo Eye’ Pavilion covering 1600 metres squared and made entirely from round-pole bamboo: the largest structure of its kind ever built in the north of China, built by a renowned bamboo architect;
  • Exhibitions and events showcasing bamboo and rattan’s role in poverty alleviation, land restoration, climate change mitigation and disaster-resilient construction across INBAR’s 45 Member States;
  • An outdoor green landscape area of 2000 square metres, containing a range of bamboos and the winning designs of the International Bamboo Construction Competition 2019. The overall Garden covers 3600 square metres.

INBAR will use the Expo 2019 to promote the importance of bamboo and rattan as multi-purpose solutions for environmental and development challenges, including forestry protection, biodiversity protection, land restoration, rural poverty reduction and climate change mitigation. With over 30 million hectares of bamboo and 600 species of rattan spread across the tropics and subtropics, these plants are a common resource to many countries in the world: from China to Colombia and Ecuador to Ethiopia.

Bamboo, the fast-growing grass plant, and rattan, the spiky climbing palm, can provide a natural solution for a number of pressing development challenges. Fast-growing, flexible and strong, bamboo and rattan have a range of uses: creating sustainable sources of income in rural areas; restoring degraded lands; storing carbon; protecting biodiversity; and providing a more sustainable, low-carbon solution for products and infrastructure.

Since 1997, INBAR has been the only intergovernmental organisation which promotes the use of bamboo and rattan for sustainable development and environmental protection. Almost all of INBAR’s 45 Member States are developing countries in the Global South, and have a long history of bamboo and rattan use. Over the last two decades, INBAR has trained up to 25,000 people across the value chain in aspects of bamboo management, and has encouraged the share of knowledge, technologies and policies across its network.

INBAR welcomes any visitors to Beijing to visit the Bamboo Eye Pavilion and Garden over the next six months, and find out more about the potential of bamboo and rattan for South-South cooperation and sustainable development.

The INBAR Garden is part of the Expo 2019, and will run for six months, from April 29 until October 7. For more information, please visit

For more information about how bamboo and rattan can contribute to UN Sustainable Goal 17, ‘Partnerships for the Goals’, read