New Delhi, Sept 19: Centre for Civil Society (CCS) in collaboration with South Asia Bamboo Foundation (SABF) celebrated World Bamboo Day yesterday. The objective of this celebration was to ensure sustainable utilization of natural resources, to promote new cultivation of bamboo for industries in India and to promote its traditional uses for community economic development. On this occasion CCS and SABF urged to reform bureaucratic and institutional hurdles in India and to remove Bamboo as ‘tree’ under forest laws. The Planning Commission estimates that it could provide employment to nearly 50 million people, particularly among the poorest forest-dependent communities.

On this occasion, Founder and Executive Director, South Asia Bamboo Foundation and Former President World Bamboo Organization  Kamesh Salam said, “the issue of bamboo being a grass and not a tree is the main cause for the lack of development of bamboo in the country. Thee Ministry of Environment and Forests is standing in the way of making the lives of millions of bamboo growers and tribals better by accessing bamboo. This policy change is immediately needed for the growth of bamboo country.”

He further added, “While the legislative hurdles seem to have been cleared, bureaucratic and institutional hurdles need to be removed. Our efforts would now be towards the effective implementation of the objectives envisioned in the new and changed laws and policies.” Even the Kohima Declaration which was passed on World Bamboo Day 2010 lays down specific measures which will help to realise a goal of a robust but equity-oriented bamboo industry in India” says Salam.