Inspired by the Spedagi Movement’s Pasar Papringan, a traditional market held in a bamboo grove in Java, we held a Bamboo Market on our Turetogo Bamboo Campus in NTT! It was a huge success, with traditional performances using bamboo instruments, bamboo toys and handicrafts, and more.
To learn more, watch the Metro TV segment (Bahasa Indonesia) or the Antara article (which can be automatically translated on Google). We’re looking forward to the next one already!
In honor of World Bamboo Day 2022, we held a “Bamboo for the People” Photo Competition. We had so many incredible entries that truly showed us the depth and breadth of Indonesia’s economic, cultural and environmental relationship with bamboo.
In first place: “The Maker” by Suhendro Winarso. Juara 1: Dia yang bekerja dengan rajin tidak perlu putus asa, karena segala sesuatu dicapai dengan ketekunan dan kerja keras. Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to everyone who joined in. All the photos can be seen under the hashtag #bambuuntukrakyat over on Instagram. Please give them some love.
In second place, the stunning “Going Home”, by @cakulumkriwul. A man heading home with his bamboo pole harvest. Juara 2: Pulang. Seorang bapak habis mengambil bambu dari ladang untuk dijadikan jembatan di dekat rumahnya bambu adalah bahan yang mudah ditemui dan kekuatannya sudah tidak diragukan lagi. Zaman dahulu hanya bambu yang dijadikan bahan bangunan bahkan perang pun pahlawan kita hanya menggunakan bambu runcing.
This incredible photo of a traditional acrobat using bamboo is in 3rd place in our Photo Competition. Taken by Wahyu Budiyanto (@toa.photos) Juara 3: Atraksi Tradisional Sandur Kalongking. Atraksi ini biasanya di babak terakhir sebuah pertunjukan rakyat Sandur yang ada di Bojonegoro. Atraksi dimulai dari seseorang pemain kelongking memanjat batang bambu yang sudah disiapkan kemudian melakukan atraksi di tengah tali yang ditopang 2 batang bambu yang menjulang kokoh. Atraksi kalongking dipercaya oleh masyarakat sekitar sebagai sebuah symbol perjalanan hidup manusia.
This photo of bamboo helping farmers in their lives has taken 4th place! Captured by Igam Marendra (@asegafphoto) Juara 4: Bambu Penopang Pertanian: Sifat bambu yang kuat dan tahan dari air, suhu, udara, dan tekanan yang kuat membuat para petani memilih bambu sebagai penopang tanaman cabai atau jenis tanaman yang merambat. Kelak juga bambu bisa dipakai kembali apabila dibutuhkan karena ketahannya yang baik. Selain itu juga dapat dimanfaatkan sebagai wadah bibit siap tanam, dll.
In 5th place, “Productivity and Creativity” by @therenegade_7seven, celebrating the beauty of bamboo handicrafts. Juara 5: Pengolahan bambu sebagai komoditas yg bisa menaikkan sektor perekonomian rakyat. Berbagai macam kreativitas seperti produksi Tenggok atau tempat padi menjadi salah satu alternatif memaksimalkan pengolahan bambu.
This beautiful photo of a fisherman throwing a net from a bamboo raft is in 6th place in our Photo Competition. Captured by Nur Wahyu (@nourwahyou) Juara 6 : Dari puluhan bambu yang terikat kuat dan menyatu, maka terwujudlah sebuah rakit yang mampu menopang orang diatasnya, sehingga kegiatan menjala ikan untuk keluarga pun, terlaksana dengan baik.
In 7th spot for our #WorldBambooDay Photo Competition: “The Bamboo Waterwheel” by Foto Kampung (@foto_kampung) Juara 7: Kincir Air Penyelamat Kehidupan : Kincir air tradisional ini memang menjadi penyelamat petani di Dusun Gedongan Bondowoso Mertoyudan Magelang saat kekeringan. Meski kini banyak desa yang beralih ke pompa air bertenaga mesin, namun di Dusun Gedongan masih memilih menggunakan kincir berbahan dasar bambu ini. Bambu memang banyak tumbuh di wilayah ini, dengan ilmu warisan nenek moyang, masyarakat di sini membuat dan memanfaatkan kincir air dari bambu ini untuk mengalirkan air dari Kali Gending menuju sawah mereka.
In 8th position: “Playing on Stilts” by Deddy AWL (@basah_betae). Juara 8: Melawan Lupa : Egrang mulai ditinggalkan. Permainan tradisional ini membutuhkan dua buah bambu atau kayu yang panjang. Kayu atau bambu tersebut digunakan bak alas kaki untuk berjalan.
In 9th position for the #WorldBambooDay Photo Competition: “The Living Bridge”. Taken by Hendryana Hera (@ahera_h2p). The base of the bridge is bamboo. Juara 9: Meskipun namanya jembatan akar tapi bambu yang menjadi alas pijakan kaki
And at number 10: “The Bamboo Library” by @basrulidrus_photo taken in Central Sulawesi. Juara 10: Perpustakaan dari Bambu : Perpustakaan yang terbuat dari bambu tersebut di beri nama dengan perpustakaan Sophia. Tiap harinya selalu di datangi pengunjung mulai dari kalangan anak-anak, remaja, dan lansia untuk memperoleh informasi dari hasil bacaan.
In Ngada Regency, central Flores, thousands of people live in villages close to forest areas that are home to dense thickets of old bamboo. These towering green poles were not planted by the villagers, however, but by their ancestors. Before their involvement in EBF’s Bamboo Village program, most women in Ngada Regency had never propagated a bamboo seedling, but now their perspectives and participation are seen as the key to climate change mitigation.
According to global advocate Women Deliver, the first steps toward sustainably tackling the climate crisis are to ensure that girls and women are recognized for their environmental solutions and have a seat at the decision-making table. Across the world, it is women who most often determine their family’s consumption of resources, and they also contribute significantly to agricultural production, land management and conservation. The UN has found that in rural regions where subsistence farming is common, women and girls are the primary providers of food, water and fuel.
Climate change directly impacts the availability of resources and makes tasks normally performed by women increasingly difficult. Combined with existing gender inequalities, it will come as no surprise that women and girls are disproportionately impacted by climate change and comprise the majority of climate migrants.
Further, according to climate change policy analyst Nina Jeffs, women’s participation in addressing climate change generates more effective and equitable climate outcomes. “Research demonstrates that due to socially prescribed gender roles, women assess risk differently to men and typically prioritize the welfare of their families and communities in resource-management decisions,” she writes.
This disproportional impact and urgent need to recognize women’s contributions and solutions is the driving force behind the joint statement published by the Scottish Government and UN Women at COP26, calling for the role of women and girls to be advanced in addressing climate change. It is also why EBF is now taking a ‘gender mainstreaming’ approach to its Bamboo Villages.
Gender mainstreaming is a strategy to achieve the goal of gender equality. According to the UN, its aim is to ensure that gender perspectives and gender equality are central to all project and program activities — development, research, advocacy, dialogue, legislation, resource allocation, planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation.
EBF incorporates gender mainstreaming through its Mama Bambu program, which provides space for women to be physically present in every decision making process regarding bamboo conservation and utilization in Ngada, while amplifying their views on the sustainable use of bamboo. Bamboo helps mitigate climate change in Indonesia in various ways, from carbon sequestration to environmental restoration.
Monica Tanuhandaru, EBF’s Executive Director, has said that she hopes the gender mainstreaming approach will be used by Indonesia’s provincial and central governments so its benefits can me multiplied. “The women in the Mama Bambu program build their knowledge of how to look after forests, restore the land, and plant bamboo. In the longterm, it should become a national strategic project that could make a huge contribution to the development of Indonesia, borne from the hands of women.”
Welcome to another of our Bamboo Pioneers, a series where we shine the light on people who are bamboo giants. This time we talked with Ibu Desy Ekawati, our long-time collaborator.
Desy Ekawati is an Indonesian bamboo activist who works at the Research and Development and Innovation Agency of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and also a member of the Board of Advisors for the Environmental Bamboo Foundation. Her journey to promote Indonesian bamboo began more than ten years ago when she was engaged in the development of non-timber forest products. At that time, Indonesia held an international seminar that discussed strategies and challenges for the sustainable use of bamboo as a non-timber forest product, and Desy was the chairman of the seminar organizing committee.
The international seminar opened the eyes of many people, including Desy, to how advanced the use of bamboo is in China and India. Since 2010, China’s flourishing bamboo industry has become one of the pillar sectors in the country’s forestry industry and also a key in the country’s efforts to establish a low-carbon economy.
Indonesia, as the third largest bamboo producer in the world, has tremendous potential. Indonesia is home to more species of bamboo and has a wider land area to grow bamboo. But ironically, most people in Indonesia think bamboo has no value and therefore the potential of bamboo is not widely known.
“Supposedly with this potential, our industry can be more advanced and our people can be prosperous,” said Desy. Indonesia’s bamboo development is indeed a bit behind when compared to China, which 40 years ago started a movement for the welfare of bamboo farmers. “China has only one goal: to build the people’s prosperity with bamboo”, she continued.
“We can actually be more successful with all the potential of bamboo that we have,” said Desy. Moreover, in Indonesia, there have been many bamboo activists, industries, and even village-owned enterprises that sell environmental services from existing well-maintained bamboo forests. Desy referred to the Nusantara Bamboo Community, the Association of Indonesian Bamboo Entrepreneurs (Perpubi), & industry players who use bamboo for incense products from Rajapolah West Java, and the Boonpring climate village in Malang Regency, East Java.
Has Indonesia also started the ‘bamboo for people’ movement?
Indonesia’s extraordinary bamboo potential needs to be managed and directed properly to be able to provide the best benefits for the welfare of the people. Unfortunately, currently, there is no instrument that can be used to integrate various bamboo utilization activities, in the fields of industry, arts and culture, or nature conservation.
“There is a community-based effort that aims to improve the community’s ability to use and manage bamboo sustainably. This movement is called 1000 Bamboo Villages and started in 2015,” explained Desy. The idea of 1000 Bamboo Villages was sparked when she had a discussion with Arief Rabik about the concern about the lack of interest from the community and the government in the sustainable use of bamboo.
The 1000 Bamboo Villages Program empowers rural farmers in Indonesia to become land restoration champions while driving a village-based bamboo industry. This community-based bamboo utilization program was built with the people-public-private partnership framework which seeks to integrate bamboo utilization activities from the upstream to downstream sectors.
“We want bamboo to become an economic driver starting from the community to the national level through a community-based movement, where bamboo remains a commodity that belongs to the community and not an industry controlled by the private sector,” added Desy.
After 1000 Bamboo Villages, what’s next?
The 1000 Bamboo Villages program is currently being carried out by the Environmental Bamboo Foundation with its extensive network in several pilot villages in Indonesia. The Environmental Bamboo Foundation has established a ten-year roadmap of 1000 Bamboo Villages to drive village-level bamboo agroforestry and push the restoration economy.
Like in China, we need political will and policy will. Political and policy support are the two things we need to support 1000 Bamboo Villages to run well as expected. “The visit of the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Bapak Joko Widodo, to the Turetogo Bamboo Campus in Ngada, East Nusa Tenggara shows a clear political will and emphasizes the attention from the highest leader in our country,” said Desy.
The political support shown by President Joko Widodo has opened the door to promote the replication of 1000 Bamboo Villages throughout Indonesia. Furthermore, we need policy will to ensure the movement is well integrated to achieve common goals.
The availability of regulations to support cross-sectoral bamboo development is very crucial. In addition to complementing the sectoral regulations that are currently available, these regulations will serve as directions for the implementation of the Indonesia Bamboo National Strategy and also regulate the roles of cross-sectoral stakeholders.
“This is a reminder for us, the bureaucrats, non-governmental organizations, and bamboo activists to accelerate the development of a national strategy for the sustainable utilization of bamboo as a manifestation of Indonesia’s policy will.”
What’s the Indonesian Bamboo National Strategy like?
The Indonesian government recognizes the great potential of bamboo and is developing a national strategy for the smallholder bamboo industry. This document will serve as a common reference across sectors and stakeholders in the development of integrated upstream-middle-downstream bamboo in Indonesia.
The Ministry of Environment and Forestry’s Research Development and Innovation Agency initiated the drafting of this bamboo strategic plan. A study team has been formed to examine the integrated development of bamboo covering economic, social, cultural, ecological, environmental, policy and regulatory aspects. Composed of researchers and policy analysts with various fields of expertise, the Team produced a draft of Stranas Bambu in early April 2021.
The draft of Indonesia’s Bamboo Development National Strategy focuses on how to integrate upstream, middle and downstream sectors, while still based on the community that has become part of the management and utilization of bamboo.
Indonesia’s Bamboo Development National Strategy will cover the management and utilization of the upstream sector, such as community-based bamboo planting using social forestry schemes. While in the middle and downstream sectors, the document will include efforts to create markets, and build a business model that connects farmers and companies as off-takers to enable People-Public-Private Partnerships implementation.
Big dreams for Indonesian bamboo
“Currently, there are very few references about Indonesian bamboo and I would love to see there is more research on bamboo to be the basis for policy formulation for sustainable bamboo use in Indonesia,” said Desy. She firmly believes that bamboo can provide real benefits to the community.
“Bamboo is a very promising commodity, for both industry and conservation. If bamboo can be used sustainably by the community, then bamboo will be the future of Indonesia”.
As one of the champions currently overseeing the preparation of the Indonesian Bamboo Development National Strategy, Desy Ekawati realizes that an orchestra for the future of bamboo is being assembled. Activists, industry players, and bamboo enthusiasts are longing for an orchestra that harmonizes various efforts for the sustainable utilization of bamboo, the welfare of the people, and the future of Indonesia.
The Environmental Bamboo Foundation (EBF) has joined forces with SEAD Plant, signing an MOU in June 2022 to facilitate transfer of knowledge between the two organizations with the aim of growing the Bamboo Village Initiative in South East Asia. This is the first time EBF has ventured outside of Indonesia to forge formal ties with an organization with similar aims and vision.
The cooperation between SEAD and EBF will help to share key lessons learned between communities in both countries in the hope of developing a village-based bamboo industry. The similar climates and agricultural traditions of the two countries make this a very natural partnership.
EBF aims to create more partnerships with the ASEAN region as each have longstanding relationships with bamboo and bamboo-based village industries.
SEAD and Environmental Bamboo Foundation share the same lifelong mission to restore heavily degraded lands with bamboo; one bamboo forest at a time. The path we both walk down may not always be a straight one, with ongoing challenges and human skepticism but the goal to empower the rural ‘rakyat’, one ‘kampung’ at a time ignites our passion to serve the communities.
SEAD stands for Stewards of Environmentally-Aware Development and is an environmentally-focused company specializing in the utilization of bamboo as a sustainable solution for the built environment, land restoration and community empowerment. SEAD is based in Perak, Malaysia.
EBF is a non-profit organization that since 1993 has studied and showcased bamboo as a social, ecological and economic solution for indigenous and local communities. Together with the local government and rural communities, EBF is currently intensively developing village-based bamboo industry and bamboo agroforestry villages in NTT. EBF has also started initiating the program in the provinces of Bali, East Java, West Kalimantan, and Central Kalimantan. In 2021, EBF assisted 388 ‘Bamboo Mamas’ in 21 villages in 7 districts in Flores and succeeded in creating and caring for 2.5 million bamboo seedlings.
“Land degradation has caused Indonesia to become the fifth largest carbon dioxide emitter in the world,” said Rabik, one of the speakers at the Kuala Lumpur Architecture Festival’s (KLAF) Datum: KL conference held earlier this month.
“And the people who suffer the most are the rural communities, smallholder farmers and the very poor,” added Rabik, who also sits on the Advisory Board of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030.