Arief Rabik

Arief Rabik

"A Thousand Bamboo Villages Begins With a Single Strip"


Arief Rabik is the current director of the Environmental Bamboo Foundation, which was formed in the 1980s by his mother, the late Linda Garland. Arief, along with several other scientists, has been working for the past 10 years on developing sustainable community-based bamboo forestry techniques and methodologies.

Since 2009, the Environmental Bamboo Foundation has published several different important manuals on the following:

  • Resilient bamboo forestry
  • Bamboo field school curriculum
  • A sustainable bamboo forestry standard
  • A smoke preservation pilot plan and methodology
  • Low-cost bamboo preservation – Vertical Soak and Diffusion

As well as working in the research and development of community-based bamboo forestry, Arief is the owner and director of a strand woven bamboo laminate factory. In the One Thousand Bamboo Village vision, each village will grow enough bamboo to supply 20+ tons of semi-processed bamboo product per day to become long terms suppliers to the bamboo industry in Indonesia, in the following product sectors: Bamboo Strips, Bamboo Pallets, Bamboo Pulp, Bamboo Powder for extruded and injection molded bio-plastic composites.

As part of his vision, Arief expects that a single family of two or three members who belong to a bamboo production cooperative can earn up to USD 750 per month ($250-375 per person). This figure is more than double the average amount that currently is made by rural farmers in Indonesia. Arief states that one dollar earned by a rural farmer in Indonesia has the same impact as one thousand dollars from tertiary industry when it comes to real and tangible economic growth.

Arief is confident that collaboration between government, rural communities, micro finance institutions, and industrial players in Indonesia will be able to create a bamboo industry that generates USD 10 billion of revenue per annum.

The Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry has worked with Arief and his team for the past 3 years to create and launch the One Thousand Bamboo Village program. This program, however, is still nascent and needs support from additional stakeholders not only from Indonesia but from tropical landscapes around the world. Several institutions have integrated the One Thousand Bamboo Villages program into their program strategy including:

  • ITTO (International Tropical Timber Organization)
  • The Bio-Diversity Foundation (KEHATI)
  • The Indonesian Partnership Foundation (KEMITRAAN)
  • INBAR (International Network of Bamboo and Rattan)
  • TNC (The Nature Conservancy)
  • TLFF (Tropical Landscapes Finance Facility)

It is Arief’s hope that with the help of these strategic partners, the Indonesian Government can successfully catalyze the start of the One Thousand Bamboo Villages program and Indonesia’s first national bamboo strategy. His presentation will outline the program and its progress to date.