Pacific Bamboo Resources

LOCATION: Seattle, Washington, USA

SUMMARY: The PBR Core Team and NW Advisory Board is pursuing three project development realms: Community Engagement and Professional Networking; Product Design and Supply-Chain Coordination; and Integral Communication Systems. Our engagement and networking activities from 2008-2011 will involve meetings with key regional stakeholders and collaborators representing public agencies, colleges and universities, NGOs, businesses and industries, financial sponsors and investors.

In 2009, PBR will form three organizational archetypes to streamline capacity: (1) a non-profit (501c3) venue for regional and community-based programming and funding; (2) an LLC for developing for-profit partnerships and management of asset portfolios; and (3) a university-affiliated PBR Institute (similar to current form) to provide educational, research, and certification programs in support of bamboo industry progression. PBR will routinely report whole-system performance via social & economic development data; ecosystem benefits; outcomes of educational programs and overall “conservation economy” indicators.

PBR is exploring prospective cultivation, harvesting and manufacturing zones within four Puget Sound counties: Grays Harbor, King, Skagit, and Snohomish counties. Each of these locales affords a variety of mature social infrastructural and skilled labor resource bases though have experienced economic distress (including fish and timber industry declines) in face of serious climate change impacts. We expect that local, low and middle income families will benefit from employment opportunities, new transportation efficiencies with sharply reduced emissions, affordable goods and services fulfillment, and various social infrastructure improvements resulting from industry contributions and municipal tax revenues. In these locales, PBR enjoys key relationships with leaders across state / local government, industry, academic, and community realms. We intend to secure funding and in-kind commitments for project start in Summer / Fall, 2009. Prize monies will help announce, further legitimize, and advance project collaborations, technical support and stakeholder participation.

PROBLEM SPACE: The Global Footprint Network (2008) recently reported that, “On September 23rd this year we mark an unfortunate milestone: As of today, humanity will have consumed all the new resources the planet will produce this year. . . . For the rest of 2008, we will be in the ecological equivalent of deficit spending, drawing down our resource stocks – in essence, borrowing from the future. . . . Climate change, shrinking forests, declining biodiversity and current world food shortages are all results of the fact that we are demanding more from nature than it can supply.” (online)

From this analysis, we hear a clarion call for comprehensive action and design innovation. R. Buckminster Fuller (1980) wisely advised, ""You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."" Here is our plan.

Like never before, we intend to responsibly cultivate and harvest bamboo agroforestry stands, in urban and rural locales, for manufacturing of durable, non-toxic composite materials for two vanguard industry by-products: electric vehicles and hybrid-energy merchant sailboats. These applications will leverage existing regional industry, labor, transportation and marine assets, eliminate impacts of imported bamboo materials, and with infrastructural support systems, will usher a new era for sustainable transport, concentric ""green collar"" industries and economic development, and regional sustainable communities.

Pacific Bamboo Resources (PBR) will collaboratively design, implement and manage four interactive program sectors comprising a $10 million regional re-investment program: (1) GIS-equipped cultivation, harvesting and preparation of bamboo agroforestry stocks; (2) design and manufacturing of light-weight, durable transport craft; (3) creation of regional “rhizome” networks for distribution, sales, and support; (4) integrated field training and educational programs for best-practices / continuous quality improvements.

Internet kiosks will coordinate participants, site assessments and management, and contracts of 5 or 10-year increments. Our program will afford annual rewards and benefits portfolios: (1) monetary rewards for harvested culms pro-rated by diameter or volume; (2) property-tax credits for carbon offsets via cultivation and soil restoration; and (3) in association with BALLE and/or the Interra Community Card, discounts on product purchases and services.

SOLUTION: We expect that bamboo resources will help revitalize northwest communities. Innovative educational programs will evoke “green collar” jobs and deliver measurable benefits of energy efficiencies, technological innovation, climate impact mitigation, and ecological restoration.

Indeed, Carbon-Free Prosperity 2025 reports that "we stand at a unique crossroads in history: the transition from polluting, resource constrained, fossil-based energy systems to those built on sustainable, renewable, resource-efficient systems. This historic and unprecedented shift, which is occurring within the electric utility market, the transportation sector, and the built environment, offers the promise of greatly reducing the Pacific Northwest’s collective impact on the planet while helping to ensure the livelihoods and well-being of future generations. In a time of deep national economic uncertainty, it also offers one of the greatest opportunities for wealth- and job-creation in more than a generation".

We believe that bamboo resources can and should be part of this promising future.

CONTACT: [email protected]