In Central and South America grows the ubiquitous and invaluable tropical bamboo species, Guadua Angustifolia Kunth, or simply Guadua. This remarkable construction material is used in an array of mainstream applications in Colombia. Not only does this bamboo species have the desirable characteristics of long length, wide diameter, and durability, Guadua is extremely renewable, has a high level of CO2 sequestration and a rapid rate of biomass production. In 1999, a 6.2 earthquake resulted in the Colombian code standardizing of Guadua as seismic-resistant, due to the many Guadua-constructed buildings that withstood little to no damage. Research interest in this material has continued to gain momentum since this event.
When it comes to development in regions like Colombia, bamboo is seen as a prime resource. With a long tradition of bamboo architecture, Colombia established a national bamboo building code which helped to standardize the distinctive properties of Guadua, a noteworthy significance in earthquake prone lands. Among the other prime and prospective bamboo regions of the world are India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The bamboo species in this area has immense potential for feedstocks, bio-char, paper, flooring and building material, all the while growing in poor soil conditions.
More research and development is needed, primarily in propagation and stand management, to fulfill the maximum potential of bamboo feedstock for the bioeconomy of tomorrow.