Wood and other forest products, such as bamboo, are renewable and highly versatile natural resources that can fuel a wide range of labour-intensive processing industries. However, in developing countries, this sector is predominantly characterized by inefficiency and low productivity due to insufficient technical skills and know-how. It also suffers from poor product quality and outdated product designs that severely limit access to world markets.
UNIDO has a long record of success in promoting a higher share of operations that add value to forestry products and allow a more sustainable use of forest resources. Relying mainly on South-South cooperation for technology transfer, it has helped develop the bamboo industry on three continents. From food and furniture to bamboo-based boards, numerous industrial bamboo products are now being exported in considerable quantities by developing countries. An increasingly evident consequence of this development is the generation of employment opportunities in remote rural areas.
The main vehicle for bamboo development is technology centres, created in recent years in close cooperation with national partners. They provide technical skill training, prepare manuals and feasibility studies and, as a network, constitute a global reservoir of expertise.