The first Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress (BARC 2018) was held in Beijing from June 25th to 27th, 2018, sponsored by the National Forestry and Grassland Administration of China (NFGA) and INBAR and organised by ICBR. The theme was "Enhancing South-South Cooperation for Green Development through Bamboo and Rattan’s Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals".
The opening ceremony of the Congress was held at the China National Convention Center in Beijing on June 25th. Chinese Premier LI Keqiang sent a welcome message to the Congress, and President Lenín Boltaire Moreno Garcés of Ecuador and President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón of Colombia sent video congratulatory messages. The ceremony was attended and addressed by Hao Mingjin, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China; Shitaye Minale, Deputy Speaker of the Ethiopian House of People's Representatives; and Hans Friederich, Director General of INBAR. ZHANG Jianlong, Administrator of NFGA, chaired the opening ceremony and conveyed the message from Premier LI Keqiang.
Also, at the opening ceremony, Mr. Agreda, Chair of INBAR Council, conferred Professor JIANG Zehui, Co-Chair of INBAR Board of Trustees, IAWS Fellow and Director General of ICBR, with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Global Bamboo and Rattan Development.
At the Congress, ICBR signed 6 agreements and initiatives. ICBR staged carefully arranged exhibitions. A total of 9 parallel sessions were hosted by ICBR, themed on China bamboo industry development, internationalization of bamboo and rattan standards, bamboo bioenergy and carbon materials, innovative bamboo technologies, bamboo and rattan classification and genomics, bamboo forest ecology management, bamboo's role for urban forestry, and youth and the future of bamboo and rattan. These seminars were attended by over 720 Chinese and foreign experts, scholars, entrepreneurs and journalists.
The success of BARC 2018 brings new opportunities for ICBR and the experience learned and earned will help elevate the Centre’s work in bamboo and rattan to a new level.