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Damyang County prepares for successful Bamboo Fair 2015

LOCAL AUTONOMY

On the theme of ‘Bamboo for a Greener Future’

Damyang County prepares for
successful Bamboo Fair 2015

World Bamboo Organization holds the 9th World Bamboo Congress in Brussels.
As an ecological and clean region, the Damyang-gun government will host the World Bamboo Fair in 2015. Known as the major habitat of bamboo in Korea, the area of bamboo forests in Damyang-gun reaches 1,800 hectares, accounting for 26% of the total bamboo forests in Korea. Major bamboo species growing in the region include phyllostachys bambusoides, phyllostachys nigra var henonis stapf and phyllostachys edulis. With features of eco-friendliness, heat conduction, sterilization, anion production and electromagnetic interception, bamboos are popular not only as materials for traditional crafts, but also as materials for eco-friendly buildings, bamboo textile and functional foods. In particular, Damyang-gun produces bamboo baskets, mats, hats, pillows, boxes with cover, and folding fans. Currently, the County attracts more than 5 million tourists annually thanks to bamboo forests, foods and facilities.

Under the theme of ‘Bamboo for a Greener Future’, the World Bamboo Fair Damyang Korea 2015 will be held for 50 days from June 27 to August 15, 2015 at Juknokwon (Green Bamboo Garden) and other places in the County. The Fair is designed to develop tourist attractions and encourage investment in developing well-being foods and new materials by exchanging information on bamboo-related education, culture and industry. It is also designed to seek ways of building a bamboo-based ecological region and marketing local brands. During the period of the World Bamboo Fair, the World Bamboo Organization (WBO) will hold the 10th World Bamboo Congress on June 27~July 1, 2015 at Damyang Center for the Performing Arts. The Congress is expected to attract about 500 participants from 40 countries.

Mayor Choi Hyung-sik of the Damyang County of Jeollanam-do Province (fifth from left, front row) holds the signed document of the Operating Agreement for the 10th World Bamboo Congress in Damyang County in 2015.

In preparation for the World Bamboo Fair Damyang Korea 2015, the World Bamboo Fair Damyang Korea Organizing Committee is conducting a variety of activities. The Organizing Committee recently selected former Minister of Environment Lee Man-ui as its chairman. Accepting the chairmanship, former Minister Lee Man-ui said, “The Organizing Committee will make effort to recover the honor of bamboo, which was conceded to the industrialization and plastic, and to present healing and cure to mankind through the Fair. I expect it will become an eco-friendly fair that can represent the eco-tourism without being lopsided to economic and industrial efficiency.” He also expressed an expectation that the 10th World Bamboo Congress will provide a chance of exchanging technologies and information for developing and growing new species of bamboos to effectively address the climate change. Former Minister Lee Man-ui had served as the president of Korea Environment Corporation and presidential secretary for administration. During the tenure of the Environment Minister, he actively publicized the Korean government’s ‘low carbon green growth policy’ in the international community. He is currently the chairman of the Suncheon Bay Garden Expo 2013 Organizing Committee.

An artist's conception of the venue of the 2015 Damyang World Bamboo Fair in Damyang County

The delegation of the World Bamboo Fair Damyang Korea 2015 Organizing Committee participated in the World Bamboo Day 2013 event held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in October at the invitation of President Dato Ghazi of Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Foundation (GIEF) in Malaysia who visited Korea in May this year. During his visit in Korea, President Dato Ghazi empathized with the necessity of holding the World Bamboo Fair Damyang Korea 2015 and he promised to actively participate and cooperate for the Fair. The World Bamboo Day 2013 event was participated in by 7 members, including President Choi Hyung-sik (Mayor of Damyang-gun) of the World Bamboo Fair Damyang Korea 2015 Organizing Committee, Chairman Pak Chung-nyeon of Technology Committee of the 10th World Bamboo Congress, and Chairman Bin Dolim (빈도림) of the World Bamboo Congress Promotion Committee. In Malaysia, members of the delegation attended the opening ceremony of the World Bamboo Day and a round table meeting on the ASEAN Bamboo Festival set to be held in 2014 and the 10th World Bamboo Congress. They also actively publicized the World Bamboo Fair Damyang Korea 2015.

A craftsman weaves a bamboo basket in Damyang

Among members of the delegation, President Choi Hyung-sik of the World Bamboo Fair Damyang Korea 2015 Organizing Committee made a presentation at a forum on Damyang and bamboo as well as necessity of holding the World Bamboo Fair in Damyang. The forum was attended by the president of GIEF and president of Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB). Then, the World Bamboo Fair Damyang Korea 2015 Organizing Committee concluded an MOU with GIEF for joint research and development of bamboo as well as for cooperation for the World Bamboo Fair Damyang Korea 2015. The MOU signing ceremony was attended by the Vice Minister of Science and Technology of Malaysia, president of MTIB and vice president of University Putra Malaysia. An executive member of the Organizing Committee said, “Through the World Bamboo Day 2013 event and an MOU with GIEF, we could effectively publicize Damyang, the habitat of bamboo in Korea, and the World Bamboo Fair Damyang Korea 2015. We will continuously build networks for cooperation with bamboo-related countries to exchange information on bamboo and contribute to development of bamboo industry.”

In addition, delegations of the World Bamboo Fair Damyang Korea 2015 Organizing Committee took part in the 54th Japan Bamboo Congress held in Fukuoka, Japan on October 8~11, and the annual meeting of the American Bamboo Society opened on October 10. k

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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