Bamboo Pioneers: An interview with Noer Fauzi Rachman Bamboo of the future

Bamboo Pioneers: An interview with Noer Fauzi Rachman Bamboo of the future

It is not easy to introduce the new uniqueness of bamboo to people who for generations see bamboo as something inferior. It is as difficult as showing fish the uniqueness and potential of water.

Noer Fauzi Rachman is an expert on population, agrarian policy, and political ecology. He is a member of the Board of the Environmental Bamboo Foundation and has great enthusiasm for the development of bamboo in Indonesia. Noer Fauzi Rahman received his PhD in Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, USA, 2011.

Noer Fauzi Rahman believes that bamboo can be the key to successful village development as it has tremendous potential, both for land and water conservation as well as for industry.

Since ancient times, bamboo has been a part of villagers’ lives in Flores and in many places in Indonesia. Bamboo has been used to make walls and ceilings, kitchen utensils, traditional ceremony equipment, and so on. “People who live in tradition cannot live without bamboo”, said Noer Fauzi Rachman.

However, introducing the new uniqueness of bamboo to society in today’s modern era is not easy. It is the same as showing the uniqueness of water to fish. “For fish, water is life. Fish cannot live without water. However, water is the only thing that a fish cannot see or even appreciate. How do you tell fish that water is unique and beautiful?”, said Noer Fauzi.

Introducing the new potential of bamboo is important and urgent. It needs to be started from an early age and through various creative ways.

Prior to the arrival of the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, to the Turetogo Bamboo Campus in Ngada, Flores on early June, Noer Fauzi and Singgih Kartono had the opportunity to ride Spedagi bamboo bicycles along the streets of Wae La village. They stopped in front of a school.

School children stood on the side of the road in front of the school, waiting for the President’s entourage to pass by. “I pulled over and showed the Spedagi bicycles made of bamboo to the school children,” recalls Noer Fauzi. The children had never seen a bicycle made of bamboo. “The children seemed enthusiastic to see this bamboo bicycle. Then I asked them to sing together,” added Noer.


I carry my sun,
I share it like bread.
Everybody can have it,
Let’s enjoy it together.


Together with the children, Noer Fauzi sung this song over and over again until they could sing it themselves.

“That’s the perfect way to introduce the new uniqueness of bamboo to the community,” said Noer Fauzi. For him, creativity determines the way we see bamboo. And it is important in order to develop new approaches in developing the potential of bamboo. In addition, respecting the culture and traditional community ownership of bamboo is equally important.

Community-based bamboo utilization

Many indigenous peoples have long developed their own land tenure systems that differ from government systems. In many places in Indonesia, bamboo is the commons, or cultural and natural resource that can be accessed by all members of a community, such as air and water. These resources are shared even when they are privately or publicly owned.

Because it has important roles in life, bamboo ownership and utilization are usually regulated and agreed upon within the community. “The rules on how bamboo is owned or used are not written so they are not visible. After there is a violation, the rules become known,” explained Noer Fauzi.

“If we want to use bamboo, especially for industry, we must first understand the land ownership system that applies in the local community,” said Noer Fauzi. In a community, all members can harvest bamboo in their area. “But if the outsiders do the harvest and use trucks to transport the crops out of the village, they could be attacked by local residents,” he said. This is because bamboo is a plant that is owned, cared for, and used jointly by the community even though the rules and ownership have never been formally documented.

Transparency in the use of bamboo for industry at the village level is also important. When natural resources such as bamboo, which have always been considered unattractive, begin to be commercialized, people become aware of the economic value and potential of bamboo to improve their economy.

“How bamboo is used, including how much income can be obtained both communally and individually, must be discussed and agreed upon in the community through the most transparent way so that all members can benefit from this natural resource,” explained Noer Fauzi, stressing the importance of community-based bamboo management and utilization.



Bamboo Education

Another way to introduce the uniqueness and new potential of bamboo to the community is by teaching various skills related to the use of bamboo. “The utilization of bamboo needs to be introduced through several stages to all levels of society and can be started from an early age,” said Noer Fauzi. The skills include bamboo nurseries, maintenance, harvesting, and post-harvest handling.

“All these skills can be introduced through the community groups (sanggar) and a scouting-like system needs to be developed,” said Noer Fauzi. With the scouting system, the utilization and care of bamboo can be introduced for children and adults.

According to Noer Fauzi, the introduction of basic bamboo skills can be given to children at the Siaga level, who can be introduced to bamboo species, life cycle, habitats and simple nurseries. Young people at the Penggalang level can be introduced to nurseries, seed maintenance and bamboo planting. At a higher level, Penegak can be introduced to bamboo harvesting skills, post-harvest handling such as pickling and cutting, to processing bamboo for works of art, household appliances, and industrial processing to increase the value of bamboo as a superior commodity.

“This Bamboo Scouting activity can be carried out through groups in the village. These studios can also be fostered by the Turetogo Bamboo Campus, which acts as the center of knowledge about bamboo,” added Noer Fauzi. The Turetogo campus can lead the development of bamboo knowledge and research, including sparking creativity by introducing a variety of modern designs and works that use bamboo as the main material, such as the Spedagi – bamboo bike.

“My dream is that we will have many Bamboo centers starting from Flores to other places in Indonesia,” concluded Noer Fauzi with a smile.

Key Points about the Spedagi GORo Nusantara G20 bicycle

Key Points about the Spedagi GORo Nusantara G20 bicycle

1. The Spedagi GORo Nusantara G20 bicycle was created collaboratively with mutual cooperation (gotong royong) across supply chains between villages and cities with support from Small-Medium Enterprises, involving engineers, artisans, experts and academics, activists and Mama Bambu farmers.

2. GORo stands for gotong royong, a key principle of Indonesia’s Pancasila code and a universal value which should underpin international cooperation to bring about a healthier, more just and sustainable way of living.

2. The main material used is an icon of eco material with important economic and cultural functions. The low carbon future needs bamboo.

3. The Spedagi GORo Nusantara G20 bicycle is a real form of Green Mobility made possible by Sustainable Investment Partnership.

4. The climate crisis threat is leading to a resurgence in bicycling as an environmentally friendly lifestyle.

5. The Spedagi GORo Nusantara G20 bicycle has a larger rear wheel to represent the developed nations of the world as the drivers. The smaller front wheel represents the developing nations who should be given the opportunity to decide the direction taken.


Green mobility and rural empowerment: the Spedagi GORo Nusantara G20 bicycle

Spedagi GORo Nusantara is a bamboo bicycle specially made for use at the G20 Summit by delegates and meeting participants. The name ‘GoRo’ on Spedagi GORo Nusantara is an abbreviation of the word gotong-royong, which translates loosely to ‘mutual cooperation’ and is deeply rooted in traditional Indonesian communities.

The idea of ​​Spedagi GORo Nusantara was born from the creative mutual cooperation of the Environmental Bamboo Foundation and the Spedagi Movement, a form of cooperation that traveled from villages to cities, across provinces and seas, involving Bamboo Mamas in East Nusa Tenggara, artisans, environmental activists, and social movements in Java, and national bicycle industry stakeholders.



The bike represents so many principles and desires for the future of Indonesia: a revitalization of rural areas, gender equality, sustainable resource management, green mobility and the circular economy. “In designing each type of Spedagi bamboo bicycle, we always strive to provide quality bamboo bicycles at affordable prices to realize green mobility,” said Singgih S. Kartono, the initiator of the Spedagi movement.

Spedagi GORo Nusantara was created to foster a love for bamboo, and to represent the value of gotong royong in modern life. Moreover, because gotong royong is a universal value that exists in all nations in the world: working together without transactional considerations, but based on conscience and an attitude of helping and giving to each other in the public interest.

The Spedagi GoRo Nusantara G20 bamboo bicycle is a low carbon product created within the circular economy. This bicycle is specially equipped with a bamboo basket containing small and medium business products curated based on the principles of a circular economy, local wisdom, and village empowerment.


The main material for the Spedagi GoRo Nusantara bicycle frame comes from bamboo, a special plant capable of restoring degraded land, storing water, and absorbing carbon. The Petung bamboo (Dendrocalamus asper) used as the main material for Spedagi GoRo Nusantara comes from bamboo forests in Ngada, Nagekeo, Ende, Sikka, West Manggarai, East Manggarai, Manggarai (Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara), Ketapang and Katingan (Kalimantan), Mojokerto and Temanggung (Java).

The Spedagi GORo Nusantara bicycle was made possible only with the support of the Environmental Bamboo Foundation, Spedagi, Bambubos, PT YPTI, EIGER, United Bike, Multi Bintang Indonesia, Rimba Makmur Utama Katingan – Mentaya Project, and Diageo Indonesia.



Currently, more than 1500 types of bamboo uses have been identified, ranging from construction and furniture, to textiles and energy. Bamboo use is historically and culturally ingrained in Indonesian life, especially in rural areas. Cultivating bamboo means village resilience, from an ecological, economic and socio-cultural perspective.

Spedagi’s bikes won the Gold Award for Good Design Japan 2018, completed a 1,200 kilometers route in the Paris-Brest-Paris event in 2019, and covered 3,700 kilometers from Sabang to Denpasar in the Journey from Zero event in 2022.

The production of Spedagi GORo Nusantara G20 is funded by green investment. With a new business model that is fair, inclusive and innovative, involving Bamboo Mamas, bamboo artisans, small, medium and large businesses, innovators and investors. This is the first step to provide quality bamboo bicycles at affordable prices. This bicycle is expected to be accessible to the wider community and contribute to the green economy.


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Collaboration between the Environmental Bambu Foundation and Diageo Indonesia: “Conserving Water Through Bamboo Agroforestry Villages”

Collaboration between the Environmental Bambu Foundation and Diageo Indonesia: “Conserving Water Through Bamboo Agroforestry Villages”

The Environmental Bamboo Foundation together with PT Langgeng Kreasi Jayaprima (Diageo Indonesia) are collaborating to increase the carrying capacity of the Yeh Penet River Basin (DAS) in Tabanan, Bali, to maintain availability of good quality water through bamboo agroforestry. The collaboration is part of an ongoing Diageo commitment to Preserve Water for Life as stated in Society 2030: Spirit of Progress through the Grain-to-Glass Sustainability pillar. This collaborative program will last for five years and be centered on a number of villages in the Yeh Penet watershed, one of the largest river basins in Bali.

The inauguration of the collaboration was held at the Bamboo Forest Pavilion, Nusa Dua, and became part of a series of G20 activities in Indonesia. The signing of the cooperation agreement between Diageo Indonesia and the Environmental Bamboo Foundation was also witnessed by the British Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific, Natalie Black CBE; the British Ambassador to Indonesia and Timor-Leste, Owen Jenkins; Regional Secretary for Tabanan Regency, Gede Susila; and Head of the Provincial Forestry and Environment Service Bali, I Made Teja.

The Head of the Bali Provincial Forestry and Environment Service, I Made Teja said that the collaboration between the Environmental Bamboo Foundation and Diageo Indonesia could be a model for protecting Bali’s water resources. “We also hope that this collaboration can be replicated in other locations to preserve water resources in the Province of Bali,” said I Made Teja.

British Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific, Natalie Black CBE at a press conference at the Bali Collection, Nusa Dua, Bali on Monday (14/11) said, “The British Government is proud to support Diageo Indonesia’s partnership with the Environmental Bamboo Foundation.”

The Executive Director of the Environmental Bamboo Foundation, Monica Tanuhandaru hopes that the partnership with Diageo can also be replicated in other countries, especially in the tropical belt where bamboo can grow and protect water resources, as well as reduce emissions. “We are looking forward to this long cooperation. The Environmental Bamboo Foundation does not work alone. We have local wisdom that believes if you plant bamboo, you plant water,” said Monica.

Meanwhile, President Director of PT Langgeng Kreasi Jayaprima (Diageo Indonesia), Alefiyah Sarma added this event is an important milestone for Diageo Indonesia because inclusiveness and environmental sustainability are at the core of the company’s 10-year action plan. “Through our collaboration with the Environmental Bamboo Foundation, we are committed to pioneering Grain-to-Glass Sustainability and the goal of conserving water for life is one of the main aspects,” said Alefiyah.

The collaboration between the Environmental Bamboo Foundation and Diageo targets an increase in water discharge and underground water absorption as well as the absorption of 19.8 kilotons of CO2e, empowerment of 150 farming families and a projected increase in income of IDR 240 million per village in the third year. This target is expected to be achieved from the restoration program of 7,500 hectares of critical land.

The Bamboo Forest Cools the G20 Summit in Bali

The Bamboo Forest Cools the G20 Summit in Bali

Under the shade of of a bamboo forest, an open space created for all who love the earth. Enjoy a cup of coffee and market snacks at the Bamboo Forest and celebrate the culture of Indonesia.

The Bamboo Forest is an official side event of the G20 Summit from 10 to 17 November 2022. The G20 Bamboo Forest is a green open space created to be a social space for the G20 Summit delegates, government, private sector and civil society members.

The G20 Bamboo Forest aims to build greater discourse and support for village-based bamboo development, low-carbon development, circular and restoration economy, as well as green mobility and green investment. In addition, the G20 Bamboo Forest will display and introduce the richness of the archipelago’s cultural creations ranging from culinary arts, performing arts, games, handicrafts and architecture, as well as the achievements of bamboo-based innovations based on the principles of environmental sustainability and strengthening rural communities. “More than just a green and social space at the G20 Summit, the G20 Bamboo Forest is a strategic effort to amplify important messages such as recover together recover stronger, mutual cooperation, and unity in diversity. The resilience of villages, the economy and green investment are all strengths of Indonesia,” explained Monica Tanuhandaru, Chair of the Environmental Bamboo Foundation.



Under the shade of bamboo leaves at the Bamboo Forest, people can enjoy a variety of activities, from dialogues with various themes, musical arts and performances that showcase the richness of the Indonesia’s culture, traditional games, handicraft exhibitions, to Spedagi GoRo G20 bamboo bicycle rental booths. Bamboo enthusiasts and activists, artists and researchers wil shine the spotlight on village resilience, conservation and biodiversity, economic restoration, green and low-carbon development, circular economy, and green mobility.

The Spedagi GoRo G20 bamboo bicycle is one of the features of the Bamboo Forest. “Spedagi GoRo G20 is a bamboo bike specially designed for leaders of G20 countries. The Spedagi Goro G20 is created based on the principle of gotong royong (mutual cooperation or co-help) culture,” said Singgih S. Kartono, the designer of Spedagi bamboo bikes and initiator of the Spedagi Movement.



In addition to presenting the Bamboo Forest to welcome world leaders in the G20 forum, the Environmental Bamboo Foundation and its partners also initiated the inauguration of the Mama Bambu Award. “The Mama Bambu award marked a shared commitment to strengthen women’s resilience in facing the global challenges of the economic crisis,” explained Monica Tanuhandaru. A multi-stakeholder dialogue will be held and attended by female leaders as support for the Mama Bambu building the green economy of East Nusa Tenggara.

Rangkaian acara Hutan Bambu Nusantara G20 ini turut didukung dan disukseskan oleh Kementerian Koperasi dan UMKM Indonesia, Yayasan Bambu Lingkungan Lestari, Rimba Makmur Utama, Diageo Indonesia, Multi Bintang Indonesia, United Bike, Yayasan Econusa, Spedagi, Rumah Intaran, Smesco, Future SMEs Village, Bali Collection, Koalisi Ekonomi Membumi, Bambubos, Eiger, Tropical Adventure, Lingkar Temu Kabupaten Lestari, Kawin Lokal, Javara, Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan, Seniman Pangan, dan Du Anyam.

Pasar Bambu at Turetogo Bamboo Campus in NTT

Pasar Bambu at Turetogo Bamboo Campus in NTT

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!

All photos by Ulet Ifansasti.

Winners of the 2022 “Bamboo for the People” Photo Competition

Winners of the 2022 “Bamboo for the People” Photo Competition

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 (⁠

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.