Oral Statement to the 60th Session of the Commission for Social Development

Title: One Billion Bamboo Initiative by 2030 for Ending Hunger, Building Resilience for Food Security, Creating Green Decent Jobs, and Providing Access to Digital Technology

Delivered by Fr. Benigno P. Beltran SVD


Madam /Mr. President/Chair,

VIVAT International and other NGOs welcome the 60th Session of the UN Commission for Social Development.

In the spirit of the SDGs’ Decade of Action, Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ Encyclical on Care for Our Common Home, and the New Social Contract that the UN Secretary-General highlighted in “Our Common Agenda,” VIVAT members in the Philippines, together with Church communities, educational institutions of all levels, from kindergarten to university, and indigenous peoples are trying to put the theme of the CsocD60 into practice through planting 1 billion bamboo trees by 2030.

Why Bamboo? Bamboo trees absorb 35% more carbon dioxide than an ordinary tree. One hectare of bamboo absorbs 12 tons of carbon dioxide annually. Bamboo trees also prevent erosion and flooding. A clump of bamboo absorbs 30,000 liters of water annually.

Furthermore, bamboo is helpful for job creation. When the bamboo plants are processed, bamboo poles can be turned into furniture and construction material. The Philippine government estimates that if we plant a billion bamboo trees, this will result in 15 billion dollars annual income.

Finally, the “Billion Bamboo Project” will make use of cutting-edge technology to monitor the planting and nurture the seedlings by using an app with geotagging features: the “Earth Project app.” This is designed to engage young people in climate action projects, including planting bamboo trees and others.

By planting 1 billion bamboo trees, we endeavor to build resilience for food security and a green recovery, create decent jobs, and offer a huge opportunity for young people to access digital technology as enjoyment of their fundamental rights.

We, therefore, recommend to member states and UN agencies

  1. Support us technologically and financially in this capacity-building endeavor. Help us build Bamboo Tissue Culture Laboratories in order to produce seedlings in greenhouses.
  1. Promote decent work, education, and upskilling for sustainable livelihoods for all.
  2. Strive for coherence between climate, biodiversity, disaster risk reduction, and sustainable development goals, with the support of public work programs in green sectors.
  3. Support North/South technology transfer, strengthen science and technology cooperation, promote sustainable global and domestic investments in infrastructure capabilities.

Oral statement_CSocD60_VIVAT International_submission