21 December 2012

Africa: China Launches African Agriculture, Forestry Research Center

Hangzhou — China's first research institution on African agriculture and forestry was launched in east China's Zhejiang Province on Sunday.

The Center for China-Africa Agriculture and Forestry Research, was established by the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) and Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University (ZAFU).

The center will focus on China-Africa investment and trade policies on agriculture and forestry, the management of bamboo resources, climate change strategies and technologies as well as food safety issues, said Zhou Guomo, the university president.

The center will promote China's agriculture and forestry research achievements and experiences to African countries. It is also important for China's forestry industry in being more global, said Wang Chunfeng, deputy director of the Asia-Pacific Forest Network Administration Center with the State Forestry Administration.

Chinese companies can now buy carbon offsets from local bamboo plantations, thanks to a new accounting method that can determine how much carbon is stored in these unique, rapidly-expanding ecosystems, according to the INBAR.

The network said the methodology, developed by INBAR and ZAFU, was approved in November by the State Forestry Administration and announced at the just ended UN climate talks in Doha.

INBAR is an intergovernmental organization established in 1997. It plays a unique role in finding and demonstrating innovative ways of using bamboo and rattan to protect environments and biodiversity, alleviate poverty and facilitate fairer pro-poor trade.

It currently has 38 member countries, of which 15 are African nations.

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