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In 2019, Cambodia joined the International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR)-an intergovernmental organization that aim to contribute the efforts in the development and promotion of innovative solutions to poverty and environmental sustainability using bamboo and rattan. The main objective of Forefront is to encourage the use of bamboo as an alternative construction material and replacing tropical hardwood. They also provide bamboo houses to support low-income families and help establish bamboo plantations to fight deforestation.

By setting up bamboo plantations, the community can harvest bamboo sustainably. This method improves the overall size of the bamboo and the strength of the poles is improved. Once the bamboo is harvested, it is treated with Borax. Borax treated bamboo is safe and has been used in Indonesia and South America for more than 40 years. The bamboo that is cured is then tested and sorted. The thick, straight poles are used for construction, the poles which are not strong enough are to be turned to floor tiles or walls. Finally, by-product and waste are used to make fiber products. Every part of the bamboo is used. This provides a higher profit which would encourage the farmers to work with nature.


Communities’ struggle:

Bamboo houses are often seen as a house for poor people. Most believed that bamboo is a fragile construction material that won’t last long. Because bamboo is cheap, people also think it is a low-quality product. In Cambodia, the development companies focus on luxury housing/boreys. This makes it even harder for construction companies to accept bamboo as a building material as the demand for it is very limited.

Challenge Statements

How to change the cultural narrative around bamboo structures and houses?


Challenger’s expectation: 

  • How to get people excited about turning ordinary items into something great? 
  • How to design a Zero waste model?
  • How to make simple material like bamboo, appealing to society? 
  • How to educate people about the benefits of bamboo?

Read more about Bamboo building; 

Register to Solution Lab to join us and other enthusiastic participants to help solve Forefront’s challenge!

Date of the event: 03 February 2021
Time: 2:30 PM – 5: 00 PM
Registration open at 2:00PM
Venue: Impact Hub Phnom Penh (Map)

This “The Green Week Solution Lab” website was created and maintained with the financial support of the European Union.  Its contents are the sole responsibility of Impact Hub Phnom Penh and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.

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