The Nature Conservancy

International Network for Bamboo and Rattan Bamboo and Energy Efficient Housing in China

The Yunnan Province of China is one of the most biologically rich and beautiful regions in the world. If current rates of wood consumption continue, however, the region could be nearly deforested within 50 years. Fuel for cooking, heating, and construction materials create the greatest demands for wood. Moreover, building designs are inefficient, contributing to a depleting cycle of wood use.

Addressing the problems of energy efficiency and fuel demand can be accomplished simultaneously through the greater use of bamboo. Bamboo is a fast-growing, indigenous plant that is superior to other Chinese forest products in terms of biomass output, impact on land fertility, and water use. It can be grown in currently deforested areas to stabilize slopes and river banks; used as construction material for homes and offices; and as a fuel for heating and cooking.

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