Cambodia has passed a bill approving the establishment of a national office for the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (Inbar). The Kingdom is expected to become a member of the network soon.

Headquartered in Beijing, Inbar is an intergovernmental organisation established in 1997 and consists of five regional level offices – Cameroon, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Ghana and India.

It currently has 45 member nations. Of the 10 Asean countries, all have joined the organisation except for Cambodia, Brunei, Laos and Singapore.

Cambodia will benefit greatly from receiving training and boosting its capacity to process bamboo and rattan products, said a government statement.

The purpose of becoming a member is to develop bamboo and rattan sustainably and within the context of a green economy, it said.

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon, who supported the bill, told The Post on Tuesday that Cambodia would be able to join the network next month at the latest.

“Because we want to attend their meetings, I hope Cambodia will be able to become a member of Inbar next month. In the meantime, we are merely waiting for ratification from the Senate."

“Depending on timber takes a very long time. Growing bamboo and rattan doesn’t take very long. Due to the high-quality of Cambodia’s bamboo and rattan products, they’ve found their way into the markets of some of the European countries,” he said.

Last weekend, during an inspection of the Khun Reap Research and Reforestation Station in Siem Reap province, Sakhon advised the Forestry Administration to collaborate with all provincial and municipal departments of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to seek good, high yielding bamboo and rattan seeds, and take good care of them.

Inbar membership will also enable Cambodia to develop its bamboo and rattan industry by increasing its cultivation and use of bamboo and rattan products.

These can help address climate change and natural disasters as well as restore forest cover in line with the national forestry policy and Cambodia’s National Strategic Development Plan 2019-2023.

The government recently signed an agreement with China’s State Forestry and Grassland Administration to establish a centre to breed valuable timber in Cambodia.