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Sustainability
Bamboo – Plantation versus exploitation of natural florests
Harvesting Bamboo used for building in natural forests will lead rapidly to the depletion of these natural resources. It has been observed in other areas that the uses of large-scale of Guadua Angustifolia natural forest are exploited in a non sustainable manner. Therefore, it is essential that a management of sustainable bamboo forest is established. This will require new nurseries and plantations, but it has been demonstrated and has been feasible in other parts of the world. In Australia, for example, large plantations are used for providing bamboo for the Japanese cuisine market, where bamboo is highly welcomed for it rich culinary values. Bamboo can be easily propagated. In the literature, several methods are reported. For the Guadua Angustifolia Bamboo, which is best suited for construction, propagation seems quicker by the so-called “Chusquin-Method”: when harvesting, bamboo culms they are cut at the ground level which then causes many small new plants to then grow around the original bamboo. This seems a proven method for large-scale bamboo-plantations. Bamboo is a grass: harvesting it down to the soil induces to emerge more new shoots, just like turf grass. Of course, this is quite different to tropical hardwood forests.

Even more rapid methods have been recently developed through the use of tissue culture. Bamboo propagated in a laboratory in the space of one square meter will be sufficient to establish one hectare of new forest. These plants can also be readily transported in a one-half-cubic-meter box. Harvesting can begin six years after planting, which is another reason why bamboo deserves to be one of the leaders in tropical biomass production. For architectural purposes, Guadua which is heavily used in Columbia and grows also excellently in Brazil is the favorite from among the entire world's bamboo species. Its diameter is consistent for the first 15 meters and then at the top it becomes elegantly tapered. No wonder it has attracted the attention of civil engineers, architects, academics, designers, and artists.