Bamboo Climate Action

Aligned with Switzerland’s Climate Change and Environment and Social Cohesion priorities the project builds on existing market systems expertise to establish bamboo as a nature-based solution able to address the environmental and economic vulnerabilities of host and refugee communities in a protracted crisis. Thus, bamboo aims to enhance livelihoods and risk mitigation caused by the impacts of climate change and disasters. This nexus project supports Bangladesh’s Social Forestry initiatives and works across humanitarian and development axis. 

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Climate change and environment
Employment & economic development
Disaster risk reduction DRR
Business support & economic inclusion
15.03.2023 - 31.03.2026
CHF  2’250’000
Background Bangladesh ranks as the seventh most climate vulnerable country and the impact of climate change further burden the socioeconomic challenges of the rural populations, such as Rohingya refugees and host communities in Cox’s Bazar. Bamboo plays a vital role in Bangladesh’s forest ecosystem, biodiversity, and local markets. Bamboo has multiple benefits including high CO2 absorption capacity and use as an ecofriendly construction material. The consumption of bamboo in Bangladesh remains high and all bamboos species have become threatened due to increased dependency and unsustainable harvesting practices. The refugee influx from Myanmar in 2017 has further stressed the demand and supply for bamboo as nonpermanent construction materials for camp shelters and slope stabilization in the camp areas. Despite the benefits of bamboo, there have been limited investments in bamboo farming to counteract the disruption in the bamboo value chain and degradation of the ecosystem related to unsustainable bamboo harvesting practices. Therefore, as a part of the overall strategic objectives of the Joint Response Plan 2022, it has become important to respond to the environmental impacts, market system challenges, and work on sustainable interventions that are tailored to the unique needs of both the host and Rohnigya community in light of the protracted crisis within the larger context of Bangladesh.
Objectives The project contributes to a green and healthy environment and the reduction of greenhouse gases, while improving the livelihoods of the host communities and refugees.
Target groups

A total of 53,000 beneficiaries (host community: 52,000 and Rohingya refugee: 1,000) will be supported as bamboo growers in both host and Rohingya communities. 

Core farmers: 2,000; 100 groups consisting of 20 members in each group.

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: The afforestation of Bamboo contributes to the effective sequestration of greenhouse gas emissions and a healthy environment while simultaneously integrating DRR. 

Outcome 2: Host communities and refugees benefit from diversified livelihoods and market linkages through bamboo processing and development of a Bamboo value chain.


Expected results:   Output 1.1: Bamboo plantations are propagated, and climate smart nurseries are established and maintained to enhance survival rate and sustainability.
Output 1.2: Training on bamboo farming and business development is provided to contract farmers and core growers from the host and refugee communities.
Output 1.3: Core bamboo growers are formed into farmer groups/cooperatives.
Output 1.4: Rohingya and host communities benefit from the bamboo plantations as a means to reduce their vulnerabilities to disasters and other climate change risks and impacts.
Output 2.1: Sustainable and diversified markets options are promoted through the establishment of linkages between contact farmers, core bamboo growers, and complementary skill development projects.
Output 2.2: Local market ecosystems are strengthened between buyers and host communities as well as private and public actors to support and improve commercial relationships and enhance production, treatment, and processing capacities.
Output 2.3: Increased sustainable investment and trade in bamboo focused enterprises from private/public sector actors

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
  • Contribution arrangement with the Center for National Resource Studies (CNRS)

Coordination with other projects and actors
  • UNHCR led project, ‘Integrated Protected Area Comanagement’ (USAID funded) on sustainable resource management and biodiversity conservation
  • ILO /UNHCR-GAC (Global Affairs Canada) Skills development project
  • Bangladesh Forest Department, Chittagong University and Bangladesh Forest Research Institute
  • Sustainable Land Management and Environmental Rehabilitation (SULMER) project led by UNHCR
  • Upcoming Biodiversity project of SIDA
  • IDE
  • SDC projects in Bangladesh (Prabriddhi and Markets for the Char)
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    2’250’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    681’324
Project phases Phase 1 15.03.2023 - 31.03.2026   (Current phase)