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Insights From The World Bamboo Director Susanne Lucas

13th ThinkBamboo Podcast with Susanne Lucas, she is the bamboo trailblazer.

An Insightful Conversation with World Bamboo Director Susanne Lucas

Welcome to the ThinkBamboo Podcast. In this episode, we have a very special guest, Susanne Lucas, the World Bamboo Director, from the WB-Organization and WB-Foundation. Join us as we embark on an exploration of Susanne’s trailblazing journey and the captivating realm of bamboo. We met in real life, for first time at the past European Bamboo Expo 2023 in Dortmund Germany and agreed there to schedule this first ThinkBamboo Podcast.

Did you know that bamboo made its way to France in 1850? Furthermore, it reached the United States of America 30 years later, in 1880.

See Video Podcast Interview

Video podcast interview with Susanne Lucas and JJ from

Video Quick Links

[00:05] World Bamboo Foundation was established to provide grants to bamboo projects.
[04:51] Bamboo was brought to the US for agriculture, but timber lobbying prevented its expansion.
[01:04] Bamboo is a tough plant adaptable to many areas in Florida.
[13:24] Bamboo has potential for natural food fortification : Superfood
[17:22] Bamboo leaves are nutritious for animals and fresh leaves are best for making tea.
[21:04] The American Bamboo Society aims to expand the bamboo collection in the United States. [24:45] Bamboo is fascinating and has traditional cultural applications throughout time.
[28:13] Upcoming bamboo events in Belgium, Louisiana, Guatemala, and Taiwan.

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The World Bamboo Organization

Susanne Lucas, one of the founders of the World Bamboo Organization, helped formalize the organization in 2004. In 2021, they established the World Bamboo Foundation to provide grants to individuals working with timber bamboo for construction. Susanne’s passion for bamboo and her dedication to its potential for sustainable construction is evident in her work.

From Fax Machines to Global Collaboration

During the early days of the World Bamboo Organization, members communicated through fax machines. This allowed bamboo enthusiasts from around the world to connect and share their knowledge. Eventually, the organization teamed up with INBAR to host events and conferences, bringing like-minded individuals together.

Bamboo’s Journey to the United States

Bamboo has a deep-rooted history in the United States, where indigenous people used native bamboo species for diverse purposes. Unfortunately, the growth of bamboo groves was greatly reduced due to factors like highway construction. Although native bamboos exist, the construction industry faced obstacles in adopting bamboo due to the influence of the traditional timber lobby and concerns about invasiveness.

Exploring Bamboo’s Versatility

Bamboo’s versatility as a construction material has been widely acknowledged. It finds applications in housing, furniture, and even as a food source. In Asian countries, bamboo is a crucial dietary component, offering nutrition and distinctive culinary experiences. Bamboo leaves are used for making tea, while fermented culms yield alcoholic beverages.

Bamboo’s Future Potential

Ongoing research aims to uncover the nutritional benefits of bamboo as a food source and its potential for fortification. Highly nutritious bamboo leaves can naturally enhance the nutritional value of processed foods. Additionally, efforts are underway to introduce new bamboo species to different regions, broadening the diversity of available bamboo resources.

Photo: World Bamboo Director Susanne Lucas speaking the European Bamboo Expo 2023 in Dortmund, Germany.
Photo: World Bamboo Director Susanne Lucas speaking the European Bamboo Expo 2023 in Germany.

Global Bamboo Events and Workshops

Various bamboo events and workshops provide platforms for sharing knowledge and fostering collaboration among bamboo enthusiasts worldwide. These include the World Bamboo Workshop in Guatemala, the World Bamboo Congress in Taiwan, and the annual meetings of organizations like the American Bamboo Society.

Conclusion: Susanne Lucas’s journey as the World Bamboo Director and her commitment to promoting bamboo as a sustainable construction material is inspiring. Through organizations like the World Bamboo Organization and World Bamboo Foundation, bamboo enthusiasts worldwide can collaborate, exchange ideas, and contribute to the growth of this versatile and eco-friendly resource. As we navigate the challenges of climate change and sustainability, bamboo continues to offer promising solutions for a greener future.