Sri Lanka pioneers bamboo crafts training with UNIDO

After the successful and pioneering training for Sri Lanka’s bamboo craftsmen in early 2019, the second phase of the program will take-off in Colombo on Saturday 15 June. The project, pioneered in early 2019 by UNIDO, introduces 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 & 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 The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF) and in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry & 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 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 commences on 15 June focuses entirely on bamboo basic handcraft techniques. The objective is to build a fundamental understanding of bamboo handcrafts and technology. The training which starts on 15th June will conclude on 25 at IDB premises. 40 local artisans from different provinces of the island are participating and are guided by URAVU India (Indigenous Science & 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 July 2019, and focused on bamboo product and furniture making. These workshops intend to share conscious knowledge to build strong capacities and promote the utilization of bamboo as a substitute for wood, while tackling deforestation and creating innovative and sustainable products.   A Sri Lankan craft maker works on a bamboo stem during the first phase of pioneering UNIDO training program for Sri Lanka’s bamboo craftsmen, held in Colombo in early 2019.

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