Sri Lanka pioneers bamboo crafts training with UNIDO | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka pioneers bamboo crafts training with UNIDO

Bamboo art in India. Pic: Courtesy The Hindu
Bamboo art in India. Pic: Courtesy The Hindu

After the successful and pioneering training for Sri Lanka’s bamboo craftsmen early this year, the second phase of the program was launched in Colombo last week.

The project, pioneered early this year by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) introduced international bamboo craft expertise for local craftsmen for the first time. Launched by the United Nations industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), it is also guided by URAVU (Indigenous Science and Technology Study Centre) of India.

The three-phased training program is part of the ‘Bamboo Processing Sri Lanka’ project aimed at Sri Lanka’s bamboo supply chain.

‘Bamboo Processing Sri Lanka’ is the project launched by UNIDO, funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF) and in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. The objective of this project is to develop a bamboo supply chain and product industry in Sri Lanka.

As an essential step of this project, UNIDO, in collaboration with the IDB, has launched the bamboo training program in early 2019. The objective of this training program is to build the local capacities and transfer the necessary knowledge needed to work with bamboo, develop its sector, and create an eco-friendly practice in bamboo processing.

The first training held in January 2019 focused on sharing the knowledge behind the ‘Bamboo Preservation and Treatment Methods’, which allowed beneficiaries to learn the skills of preservation while launching a value added product to the market.

Pursuant to the first successful workshop, UNIDO and IDB have decided to continue building local capacities by leading the next step in bamboo processing knowledge. The second workshop that commenced on June 15 focuses entirely on bamboo basic handcraft techniques.

The objective is to build a fundamental understanding of bamboo handcrafts and technology. The training which started on June 15 will conclude on June 25 at IDB premises. Forty local artisans from different provinces of the island are participating and are guided by URAVU India (Indigenous Science and Technology Study Centre).

The artisans selected to be part of the bamboo handcraft training are not only those who already use bamboo but also the artisans who are skilled in working with wood, rattan, and similar materials. In addition, this training is to serve as a base on which to develop a second more advanced training scheduled for next month, and focused on bamboo product and furniture making.

These workshops intend to share conscious knowledge to build strong capacities and promote the use of bamboo as a substitute for wood, while tackling deforestation and creating innovative and sustainable products.