In an effort to capacitate Extension Service Providers (ESPs) about bamboo, the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB), through the Technology Transfer Division (TTD), organized the Capacity Building of ESPs on Bamboo Utilization on October 12-15, 2015.

The learning event conducted at Maria Paz Royale Garden Resort, San Pablo City was developed to equip extension workers with technical knowledge on bamboo propagation from ERDB and its research centers, namely, Watershed and Water Resources Research Center (WWRRC), Biodiversity, Coastal, Wetlands and Ecotourism Research Center (BCWERC), Land Management, Agroforestry and Upland Farms Technology Research Center (LMAUFTRC), Mining and Degraded Areas Rehabilitation Research Center (MDARRC), and Forest and Timber Resources Research Center (FTRRC).

The four-day training included topics on bamboo for ecosystems rehabilitation and riverbank stabilization by For. Gregorio E. Santos, Jr., bamboo for carbon sequestration by Mr. Paul J. Cuadra, bamboo for landscaping and greening, and processed bamboo, both by Ms. Cristina A. Roxas. There was also a lecture on public speaking and personality development by Mr. Michael P. Paunlagi to equip the ESPs not just with technical knowledge but also with presentation skills.

The participants who were grouped into three, presented particular topics on bamboo production, which has also been the application part for the public speaking and personality development lecture. Their creativity was showcased when the groups were tasked to create a mock-up of bamboo landscape with a supporting write-up on relevance and purpose of bamboo species, required manpower, and cost estimate for the execution of the project.

Three riverbank rehabilitation and stabilization case studies, mock-ups and write-ups of bamboo landscapes, re-entry plans, and pre- and post-tests were developed and accomplished by the end of the training. The participants also did field visits in San Juan, Batangas, and San Pablo City. Through the capacity building, the participants were provided with not only lectures and technical information but also opportunities to process their learnings and apply them in practical situations. Jobelle Mae L. Zuraek, TTD