(left photo) Participants during the visit to the Sampaloc bamboo nursery. (right photo) UBRDEC Center Head Gregorio Santos, Jr. (right) presents UBRDEC and ERDB IEC publications to Sampaloc municipal mayor Gelo Devanadera (left)

The Urban and Biodiversity Research, Development and Extension Center (UBRDEC) participated in the 1st Quarterly Meeting of the Provincial Bamboo Technical Working Group (PBTWG) last March 4, 2019 in Sampaloc, Quezon, to discuss opportunities and potentials for the bamboo industry in the province.  Aside from UBRDEC as the representative of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the inter-agency group is composed of representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Department of Education. The private sector was also well-represented by several people’s organizations (POs) engaged in bamboo enterprises.

The participants of the meeting

The Municipal Government of Sampaloc, Quezon, which hosted the meeting, organized a short visit to the municipal bamboo nursery located beside the town’s landfill facility. Seeing a need to improve its seedling survival, For. Santos offered to provide a refresher training on bamboo propagation, and to introduce DENR charcoal technology to maximize its productivity. Forester Santos also suggested enhancing the area into a biodiversity park featuring indigenous forest tree species.

During the meeting, Sampaloc municipal mayor Noel Angelo “Gelo” Devanadera briefed the group on his policies and expressed support to the program. An entrepreneur before his election into office, he urged the stakeholders to achieve proof of concept that will concretely demonstrate the viability of the planned developments. He assured the stakeholders of the municipal government’s willingness to offer its resources for the success of the program.

Plans discussed during the meeting were: identification and conduct of inventory of potential areas for bamboo plantation; the upcoming ASEAN Bamboo Congress in August 2019; the conduct of IEC campaigns in every congressional district of Quezon; and the proposal to build a Bamboo Eco-Tourism Village in Quezon. Emerson Ranara, UBRDEC