In Africa’s Vanishing Forests, the Benefits of Bamboo

This article elaborates on the many uses of bamboo in Africa. The article addresses the commonly held misconception that bamboo is only found in China and other countries in Asia. Rather, 4 percent of Africa’s forest cover is bamboo. Specifically, the article deals with how bamboo may be the solution to the prevalence of deforestation in Africa. Whereas a typical hardwood tree could take several decades to grow back, the same is not true for bamboo. Under the right conditions, bamboo can grow roughly a meter a day. Bamboo is also quick to mature. Many plants are mature enough to harvest after 3-6 short years, whereas hardwood trees may take much longer. Furthermore, bamboo thrives in Africa’s climate of little rain and pervasive heat. It also prevents soil erosion. Making better use of Africa’s bamboo could better the lives of thousands. Researchers have experimented with bamboo as a source of firewood, and have found that its gas emissions are not as harmful or toxic.

 

To learn more, please visit: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/13/in-africas-vanishing-forests-the-benefits-of-bamboo/

 

Sarah Perez

 

Chapter 10

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