April 21, 2024

The mining industry represented by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines and the Philippine Nickel Industry Association, together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Department of Trade and Industry, unveiled “The Bamboo Initiative” – a nationwide campaign aimed at revegetating mined-out areas with bamboo, increasing bamboo production and creating lucrative enterprises for mining communities at the Manila FAME.
The campaign is a response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to the mining industry to revegetate mined-out areas. 
“In his State of the Nation Address, the President said that the mining industry should repair the environment which has been mismanaged. The DENR and the DTI are initiating the rehabilitation of mined-out areas using bamboo to address this matter, while also helping expand the country’s bamboo resources,” said DENR Sec. Roy Cimatu.
He said the group chose bamboo in rehabilitating degraded lands because it “grows fast, releases 30 percent more oxygen than trees, and can absorb heavy metals from contaminated soil or water.”
DTI Sec. and Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council Chair Ramon Lopez added that “the potential for bamboo is limitless, given the variety of its use.”
Lopez also lauded Cimatu and the mining companies who have started to plant bamboo in their mined-out areas, which will help increase the supply of raw materials for use in creating high-value bamboo products in the future. According to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, 12 mining companies have already begun planting bamboo in 12 provinces across nine regions all over the country.
For Philippine Nickel Industry Association Chair Butch Alcantara, planting bamboo was more than just for rehabilitation, but also the long-term economic development of their communities.
“What sustainable livelihood do we leave our host communities, especially the indigenous peoples, when the mining stops?”
Alcantara added that a 10-hectare plot of bamboo can help a worker earn five to six times more income than their salary. 
“The bamboo industry is a $60 billion industry where our communities can participate by manufacturing and supplying high-value products globally.”
Atty. Ronald Recidoro, executive director of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, said the Bamboo Initiative emphasizes the significance of the mining industry’s role in creating opportunities and social enterprise.
“The Bamboo Initiative will boost the development of the bamboo industry, create sustainable livelihood projects for mining communities and thereby re-invent mining as a social enterprise. This will help change the conversation about mining,” says Atty. Leo Dominguez, a proponent of the Bamboo Initiative. – Press release