Arief Rabik is the director of Indonesia’s Environmental Bamboo Foundation and the founder of the 1000 Bamboo Villages project, which aims to create economic viability for the use of bamboo agroforestry to sequester CO2 and restore degraded tropical forest lands in dozens of countries. Arief is an expert in bamboo cultivation, value added processing, and brokering public and private support and investment in village-level bamboo production.
Bamboo has exceptional climate benefits and in Indonesia alone the creation of nationwide “bamboo villages” would result in more than 100 million tons of CO2 emission reductions annually. This provides governments seeking a pathway to meet their emissions targets with an efficient model that has significant co-benefits, including economic development for rural communities and improved soil and forest health. Around the world, there are hundreds of timber bamboo species—timber bamboos have adapted to almost every ecological niche in the tropics and have been utilized by different communities around the globe.
Arief’s breakthrough strategy is to restore degraded lands around the world with bamboo agroforestry while creating large markets for bamboo to be used in building material (which would also help displace carbon-intensive concrete), clothing, furniture, and more.
Arief is a second-generation bamboo specialist who is as capable and comfortable getting his hands dirty helping local producers on the ground as he is working with corporate leaders in the boardroom and politicians in national capitals to bargain for scalable policy and financial support to turn his vision into reality. Arief has already piloted his model and the first group of villages in Indonesia are already producing bamboo with purchasing agreements in place to sell value-added products to large global brands.
We are excited to support Arief as he scales his bamboo agroforestry strategy in Indonesia and then to other tropical countries with large amounts of degraded lands in Southeast Asia, South America, and Africa.