The Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau through its Watershed and Water Resources Research and Extension Development Center (ERDB-WWRRDEC) conducted a bamboo educational tour to thirty (30) local stakeholders in bamboo eco parks within Baguio City and Tuba, Benguet last April 26, 2022.

While trees are the mostly known species for forest restoration and conservation, the potential of bamboos for the rehabilitation of watersheds and denuded areas has not yet been given the utmost attention it deserved. Thus, the activity aimed to encourage stakeholders to adopt, gain knowledge, increase appreciation and to provide venue for bamboo adopters to continue and improve their adopted bamboo technologies.

Forester Fatima T. Tañgan, a retired DENR researcher and a dedicated bamboo consultant, served as the resource speaker for the educational tour. She discussed the different characteristics and importance of each bamboo species.

For. Tañgan also shared her insights on environmental rehabilitation and livelihood components of bamboo to encourage stakeholders to continue and strengthen their venture into the bamboo industry.

Three sites were visited namely the Mirador Heritage and Eco- Park at Dominican Hill, Baguio City; St. Francis Xavier Seminary’s Bamboo Sanctuary at Liteng, Pacdal, Baguio City; and PicMar Heritage Lodge and Camping Ground at Tuba, Benguet.

Some bamboo species found in the sites includes Vivax bamboo (Phyllostachys vivax), Fishpole bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea), Hedge bamboo (Bambusa glaucescens f. elegans (Koidz.) Muroi & Sugimoto), Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys heterocycle pubescens), Purple bamboo (Chimonobambusa neopurpurea), Yellow striated bamboo (Bambusa vulgaris “Vitata” Mclure) and Black bamboo (Gigantochloa atroviolacea Widjaja), and bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea ‘holochrysa’ (CARR) A.), and Giant bamboo (Dendrocalamus asper (Schult. f.) Backer ex Heyne).

Such bamboos are ideal for rehabilitation of eroding river banks, use as hedges or fences, for landscaping, construction, furniture-making and handicrafts for souvenirs.

An open forum was conducted after the activity to address queries. The participants also shared their positive impression on the activity and implied their plan to venture into bamboo plantation establishment or expand their already existing bamboo plantation.   Chamanei C. Elias, WWRRDEC