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Ambio. 2014 Oct;43(6):770-8. doi: 10.1007/s13280-013-0466-7. Epub 2013 Nov 30.

Can't see the (bamboo) forest for the trees: examining bamboo's fit within international forestry institutions.

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World Resources Institute, 10G Street NE, Suite 800, Washington, DC, 20002, USA,


Over the centuries, governments and international agencies have developed a wide range of institutions to manage timber resources and conserve values provided by treed lands. Concerns regarding the sustainable supply of timber have provided opportunities for the development of substitute resources; however, bamboo and other non-timber forest resources have not been a part of the development of these institutions. Bamboo is a unique Non-Timber Forest Product, as it is often classified as forest or timber, and therefore must adhere to the same regulations as timber. Given the recent global expansion of bamboo, it is timely to examine the interplay between bamboo and the traditional institutions of forest governance. This paper aims to contribute to debates regarding cognitive institutional constraints on the development of substitute natural resources using bamboo as a case study, with specific focus on the applicability of Forest Stewardship Council certification, timber legality verification and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation to bamboos.

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