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In this issue From WBO President, Michel Abadie International Organizing Committee,
10th WBC World Bamboo Day 2013 Central and South America = Unite and Collaborate Happy
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Monday 7 1 2013 From WBO President, Michel Abadie
Forging a new spirit of bamboo in Damyang.
Going to Korea this past November was more than going to a country with only the goal of
preparing the next World Bamboo Congress. It was more than to visit the site and test the
ability of the persons in charge to give right answers to the many questions we organizers
have in mind for a successful event. It was certainly more than having a survey on the
capacity and willingness of the future host.
Going to Korea was a big loop on the history of the World Bamboo Organization.
By a strange coincidence, exactly twenty years ago, the Third World Bamboo Congress was
held in Kumamoto (Japan), on the other side of the East China Sea, just about an hour
flight from Damyang, Korea. For most of the people who were there, at the invitation of
the Japan Bamboo Society, that meeting is still a white stone in the history of world
bamboo meetings. It was an encounter that took you out of your daily life, a peculiar
moment that you will forever remember.
It was there, in Japan, in the place of the first well-publicized ecological and human
disaster, a bamboo forest was planted to cover and reclaim the dirty soil of Minamata. It
was there that the people who participated at the Third WBC decided to build a bamboo
bridge across the world, with the goal to unite efforts to promote bamboo as a sustainable
resource, a multi-faceted solution to so many problems. It was there that the links
between members of different countries became real. And it was a time before the easy way
and popularity of internet.
Now it was with the same spirit that Susanne Lucas, Jan Oprins and myself went to Damyang
to meet the Governor of Damyang, Mr. Choi Hyung-sik and his very dedicated team.
Already last April during the 9th World Bamboo Congress held in Antwerp (Belgium), we felt
a strong feeling with the Korean delegation through different exchanges and talks.
Damyang, South Korea was selected as the host of the 10th World Bamboo Congress scheduled
for 27 June to 1 July, 2015. This Congress will be a focus point during the 50 day-long
World Bamboo Festival and Expo, which anticipates over 90,000 visitors.
Surrounded by mountains and hills covered with bamboo, Damyang historically has been a
traditional bamboo region, with a big market for local craftsman making everything from
furniture, baskets and other utility products to food and others uses. Recent years have
seen the use of bamboo decrease in the daily life of modern urban society, but the roots
are still there in the ground... and in the memory. And that's the fantastic challenge
of governor Choi Hyung-sik: « to improve the use of bamboo in our contemporary world ».
With that goal in mind, this very discreet but fully energetic man is pushing a true
bamboo revival in this county. The first results reveal that the bamboo market is growing
again with a lot of new starting-up companies. For thousands of tourists and visitors, a
beautiful hill garden covered by bamboos gives an impressive immersion amid the green
giant culms to the top of a hill with a fantastic sightseeing view of the city. On the
slope below, a huge marketing center allows visitors to find the traditional bamboo
handicrafts. Not far away, there is a very interesting bamboo museum showing the multiple
uses of bamboo from the past to the present and future potentials.
All around the city and in the vicinity of Damyang, bamboo shops and manufacturing
facilities are proof that bamboo can lead to economic development via an organic and
Here in Damyang, you can really live « the bamboo renewal »!
Starting with your morning shower, you will find purely organic bamboo soap and bath
products. For breakfast, don't forget to taste the delicious bamboo sausage with
bamboo-leaf tea. Then, go and take your bamboo bike to reach the bamboo charcoal factory.
Here you can order a an array of charcoal products to purify your home and office. Another
interesting stop is a visit to the studio of contemporary artists painting and sculpting
with bamboo charcoal. A nice experience! Don't forget, in summer the temperature can
be quite high in Damyang, so pass by a traditional craftsman to order a hand- made bamboo
fan. To relax, go to the sauna and discover the very therapeutic thermal effects of a
bamboo charcoal fire. The atmosphere of the place is so simple and so real that you will
stay longer than expected.
Finally, you will certainly be hungry. I can recommend you a good place that you will
never forget! A place to share with your friends the biggest plate you have ever eaten in
your life: a six-meter long bamboo culm, sliced in two parts, with different dishes
between the internodes! The bamboo "plate" is coming directly from the outdoor
oven, full of abalones, shrimps, chicken, beef, etc., perfectly cooked and tasty. And to
drink, you will taste the traditional Korean bamboo-leaf wine. But be careful, it's
alcohol volume is 15° (%)! So for sure you will have a nice bamboo dream during the night.
That's the Damyang experience of « the bamboo renewal ».
After very interesting visits of different local sites, meeting different persons involved
in the local bamboo community, our last surprise came from governor Choi Hyung-sik
himself, who showed us in his office the architect's model of the new building to be
built for the 2015 World Bamboo Festival, complete with two new hotels and a bamboo
observation tower. With the willingness of the Korean, this forward-thinking man knows
what he wants to do with « the bamboo renewal »; he wants his region to experience
positive economic development via the sustainable development of bamboo industry, to show
Damyang in 2015 as a « capital of the world of bamboo ». And personally, I want to
accompany this enthusiastic experience to a full success.
This is why, if everyone agrees, I offer to work further as WBO President for three more
With my best wishes for this New Year to you, and to everybody in World Bamboo,
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International Organizing Committee, 10th WBC
We are in the process of selecting the International Organizing Committee, which includes
the Technical (Science) Committee Chair and other important appointments to insure a
successful coordination with the National Organizers in Damyang. = If you would like
to be a part of this team, please send me an email and indicate in what capacity you wish
This will be an incredible opportunity to not only "Keep Bamboo Strong" by
volunteering your time to WBO, but also a unique personal experience in developing a
global program with significant potentials. Please consider serving on a committee as
part of the 10th WBC Team!
Many thanks in advance,
~ Susanne Lucas, Executive Director, WBO
susannelucas(a)gmail.com / info(a)worldbamboo.net
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World Bamboo Day 2013 [http://www.worldbambooday.org
It's not too early! Start planning on how you can help promote World Bamboo via
celebration of World Bamboo Day, 18 September 2013!
For ideas or help, please contact us. We'll be happy to suggest possibilities and
opportunities for collaboration. Thousands of people around the world shared the
festivities and educational presentations last September. Let's make the 2013
celebrations even more successful!
Stay tuned: [http://www.worldbambooday.org
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Central and South America = Unite and Collaborate
WBO would like to encourage bamboo groups in Mexico, Central and South America to
coordinate together to find a possible host venue for a collaborative WBO co-sponsored
bamboo conference somewhere in these regions. Jose Oscar Padilla of Mexico has expressed
great interest; it takes a good team and unified effort to make it happen, so please let
us hear from you if you, your group, your institute, your company would like to work
together to create a open forum for exchange of ideas, research, projects and information
about all aspects of bamboo in the Americas.
The 10th WBC is not until 2015, so let's make something together in the latter part of
2013 or 2014 that will benefit all! Muchas gracias.
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Happy New Year 2013
From Susanne and the team of World Bamboo
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