15th ThinkBamboo Podcast with Boy Dominik Heemskerk, Founder Bambouku Fund and Foundation / Founding member in the Eco-Villages Project
Unveiling the Bambouku Fund: A Premier Podcast with Boy Dominik Heemskerk, on the 1M Hectares Bamboo Agroforestry Reforesting by 2030
Welcome to the ThinkBamboo Podcast, where we interview the movers and shakers in the bamboo industry. In this episode we are the very first ones interviewing Boy Dominik Heemskerk, the visionary founder of Bambouku, the world’s largest bamboo reforestation for carbon sequestration. And Eco-Village project of community within communities. Bambouku aims to plant one million hectares of bamboo by 2030 as a bold step towards combating climate change. With an estimated cost of 5 billion euros, Bambouku is launching “Bambouku funds,” Bambouku Bamboo Forest Fund – Investing in Carbon Assets. A groundbreaking initiative with an initial round of 100 million euros, focusing on bamboo agroforestry.
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See Video Podcast Interview
Video Quick Links
[00:06] Mission to plant one million hectares of bamboo before 2030
[03:56] Bamboo is a sustainable source of timber
[07:59] Bamboo and Kirikiri trees are sustainable sources of timber.
[11:40] Carbon banking and reforestation are growing, but there is still a long way to go.
[15:08] Invest in Bambuku for carbon storage and land sales
[18:18] Deforestation is a major problem that needs to be addressed
[22:10] Carbon credit industry has huge potential for growth
[25:56] Bambuku focuses on reforestation.
1. Tackling Climate Change on a Massive Scale
To effectively address climate change, Boy Dominik emphasizes the need for significant efforts and scaling up. Bambouku’s mission is to reforest one million hectares with bamboo before 2030. This staggering target reflects the urgency and ambition required to transition from emitting 50 gigatons of carbon annually to achieving negative emissions.
2. Understanding the Scale: One Million Hectares of Bamboo
Visualizing the scale of one million hectares can be challenging. To put it into perspective, imagine nearly one million soccer fields. That’s the expanse Bambouku aims to reforest by 2030. However, the cost of reforesting such an extensive area amounts to approximately 5 billion euros. While this is a substantial figure, it is only the beginning, as Bambouku recognizes the need for even greater investment to make a significant impact on carbon emissions.
3. Introducing : The Bambouku Fund
To raise the necessary funds for their ambitious reforestation project, Bambouku is launching “Bambouku fund.” The first round will seek an investment of 100 million euros. With a pipeline of over 200,000 hectares ready for investment, Bambouku aims to multiply their reforestation efforts each year. By establishing a sustainable funding mechanism, Bambouku plans to compound their impact and ensure long-term success.
4. The Journey and Motivation Behind Bambouku
Boy Dominik, originally from the Netherlands, spent several years in the tropics, fostering his love for nature and gaining valuable perspectives. Witnessing the awe-inspiring biodiversity and the urgent need for conservation, Boy Dominik became motivated to protect the biodiversity. The realisation that what took millions of years to create could be destroyed within a day drove him to take action.
5. Why Bamboo?
Bamboo emerges as a beyond sustainable, true regenerative, solution for timber production. Its rapid growth and regenerative properties make it an ideal resource for sustainable timber. Bamboo can be harvested at a rate of 15-20% annually, making it a versatile and eco-friendly alternative. Bambouku recognizes that bamboo should be part of a larger forest ecosystem, incorporating other local and endemic species to create a balanced and diverse environment.
6. Bamboo Agroforestry and Mimicking Natural Forests
To emphasize the importance of agroforestry, Bambouku integrates bamboo with other compatible tree species. This approach not only enhances the ecological benefits but also ensures efficient water storage and distribution during dry seasons. For instance, by incorporating the fast-growing Kiri tree, which can be harvested simultaneously with bamboo, Bambouku creates an excellent complement. By mimicking natural forests, Bambouku establishes an ecosystem that maximizes biodiversity and enhances environmental resilience.
7. Carbon Banking and Bamboo’s Potential
In addition to its reforestation efforts, Bambouku recognizes the immense potential of carbon banking with bamboo. By leveraging the properties of bamboo and its ability to store carbon, the organization takes a proactive approach to combat climate change. One key strategy involves storing carbon in bamboo products, such as housing and flooring, creating an effective carbon sink that can sequester carbon for multiple decades.
The utilization of bamboo in construction and other industries presents a unique opportunity for sustainable development. Transitioning to bamboo-based materials not only promotes eco-friendly practices but also contributes to the reduction of carbon emissions. Bamboo’s remarkable strength-to-weight ratio and versatility make it an ideal material for a wide range of applications, including construction, textiles, and even renewable energy infrastructure.
By incorporating bamboo into various industries, Bambouku aims to maximize its potential for carbon storage. This approach not only addresses the pressing need for carbon sequestration but also fosters the growth of sustainable industries. With bamboo’s exceptional qualities and the ability to store carbon, it serves as a valuable asset in the fight against climate change.
Carbon sequestration potential of bamboo plantations and carbon trading
Bamboo has several advantages over tree species in terms of sustainability and carbon fixing capacity. Bamboo is one of the most productive and fastest growing plants on the planet. The fastest-growing species among the bamboos may grow up to 1.2 m a day. This unique growing capacity makesbamboo a valuable sink for carbon storage. Dry matter accumulation by various bamboo species are presented in the Table 1. The dry matter accumulation by Chusquea culeou (Chile) is in the tune of 156-162 t ha-1 , while that of Phyllostachys pubescence (Japan), and Gigantochloa alter (Indonesia) is 138 ton ha-1 and 45 t ha-1, respectively. The lowest dry matter accumulation (0.35 ton ha-1) has been reported by Bashania fangiana (China) (Table 1). In our common thorny bamboo, Bambusa bamboos the dry matter accumulation at the age of 4, 6 and 8 has been reported to be 122, 225 and 286 t ha-1, respectively and it is on par with the 10 year old fast growing Causarina equisetifolia (292.68 ton ha-1) or Eucalyptus tereticornis plantation (254.97 ton ha-1) (Table 2). The per hectare biomass accumulation by the D. strictus at the age of three years (Singh et al. 2004) is very high compared to that of Tectona grandis, Dalbergia sisoo, Greveillea robusta or Acacia nilotica of ten year age. The above and below ground biomass of bamboo is approximately in the ratio 3:1 and it is observed that the total carbon content comprises usually about 50% of the total biomass.Bamboo plantations: An approach to Carbon sequestration. 2009 Author: Seethalakshmi K.K.
8. Creating Sustainable Eco-Villages
In addition to reforestation efforts, Bambouku is dedicated to the establishment of sustainable Eco-Villages within the reforested areas. These Eco-Villages not only contribute to the restoration of the environment but also serve as living examples of sustainable practices. They are carefully designed to achieve self-sufficiency in terms of energy, water, and food production, ensuring a harmonious coexistence with nature.
By integrating renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, into the Eco-Villages, Bambouku strives to showcase the feasibility and benefits of sustainable energy solutions. Transitioning to clean energy not only reduces carbon emissions but also reduces dependence on fossil fuels. Additionally, implementing efficient water management systems helps conserve this precious resource, while promoting organic farming practices fosters a healthy and sustainable approach to food production.
To support the realization of these Eco-Villages, Bambouku has been fortunate enough to secure a substantial endowment. This endowment not only guarantees the long-term sustainability of the eco-villages but also paves the way for unique opportunities for the residents. The endowed fund is allocated to various ventures, including research and development of innovative sustainable technologies, scaling of nature-based businesses, implementation of education and outreach programs, and provision of grants to residents for personal projects aligned with the core values of sustainability and ecological balance.
Through these initiatives, Bambouku aims to create thriving communities that not only benefit from sustainable practices but also actively contribute to the preservation and restoration of the environment. By demonstrating the viability and desirability of sustainable living, Bambouku inspires others to adopt similar practices and work towards a more sustainable future.
9. The Socio-economic Impact of Bambouku
Bambouku’s vision extends beyond environmental conservation. The project aims to have a positive socio-economic impact on local communities by providing employment opportunities and fostering economic development. By involving local communities in the reforestation and Eco-Village projects, Bambouku aims to create a sense of ownership and empowerment, ensuring that the benefits are shared by all stakeholders.
10. Collaborations and Partnerships
Bambouku seeks collaborations and partnerships to achieve its goals, engaging governments, NGOs, corporations, and individuals who share their vision. By working together, they leverage resources, knowledge, and expertise to create a global movement for reforestation and sustainable development.
Bambouku’s mission is to reforest one million hectares of land with bamboo by 2030. This innovative approach combats climate change through bamboo agroforestry, carbon banking, and sustainable Eco-Villages. Bambouku aims to create a positive impact on the environment, local communities, and the global fight against climate change. By investing in Bambouku funds and supporting their initiatives, individuals and organizations contribute to this transformative reforestation project and a sustainable future.