IMPACT HERO 2021

 

Arief Rabik

 

Director of Environmental Bamboo Foundation

Indonesia  

Arief was raised by a passionate bamboo pioneer, Linda Garland, who believed in bamboo’s exceptional qualities for solving environmental and social issues. Growing up, Arief was called “the bamboo boy” for his extensive knowledge on bamboo – he could name 1,000 species of bamboo by the time he was ten years old. 

 

After completing his degree in environmental studies, Arief succeeded his late mother Linda Garland and became the Director of Environmental Bamboo Foundation (EBF). Arief strives to expand 1000 Bamboo Villages in Indonesia and 10,000 Bamboo Villages in nine nations globally with a breakthrough strategy to tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues such as climate change and land degradation while creating economic opportunities and social inclusion for rural communities.

The Story Behind

Inheriting his mother’s mission to create a restorative and regenerative future
Queen of bamboo’s son 

 

Queen of bamboo’s son

 

Arief was born in Bali as the second son of an Irish interior designer mother and an Indonesian entrepreneur father. His parents had strikingly similar adolescent experiences: his mother ran away from her family who tried to put her into a convent at the age of 16, while his father was disowned by his family for refusing to become an Islamic student leader when he was 16 years old. Arief’s parents came from very different backgrounds but both were charismatic pioneers with strong determination to overcome challenges at such a young age. Arief was born into this world as a premature baby weighing merely 900g with very small lungs. Despite the doctor’s concerns, Arief grew up to be a healthy and active boy who loved to play in nature.

 

When Arief turned two years old, his parents separated. Passionate about their work, both of his parents were not around much at home. Arief found himself spending most of his time in the forest, a place where he could feel the connection to Mother Earth. He moved around different international schools in his teens as he could not fit as “the nature boy” from Bali. This gave him the opportunity to travel around the Indonesian islands with his mother Linda. Arief learned many meaningful lessons from his mother who was always humble, able to transcend boundaries and connect with the local villagers to provide solutions with her passion and knowledge of bamboo. 

Cultivating the infinite possibilities of bamboo

 

Linda Garland saw bamboo’s many positive qualities such as rapid and relatively easy propagation, flexibility, and environmental friendliness. She founded Environmental Bamboo Foundation (EBF) in 1993 with the mission to internationally establish bamboo as a viable replacement for timber as a building material. 

 

Upon completion of his degree in environmental studies in Australia, Arief took vital roles in various bamboo projects. As a free-spirited entrepreneur, he has undergone many difficulties and even some failures which become indispensable learning experiences when joining Linda’s journey to realize EBF’s vision. 

 

In 2017, Linda passed away from pancreatic cancer. Arief, who had become a bamboo specialist himself by that time, took on the role as the director of the EBF. He founded the 1000 Bamboo Villages Project, the organization’s flagship project to build village-based restoration economies across the world.

 

Staking his life on saving the world with bamboo

 

Arief inherited his true calling and evolved the EBF’s mission into a revolutionary solution to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues. Through the 1000 Bamboo Villages Initiative, Arief is committed to build an international restoration economy.

 

At his core, Arief loves spending his days planting bamboo in the forest with villagers. However, he is currently travelling around the archipelago and overseas to meet with government officials, as well as foundation and corporate representatives, to present his breakthrough solution which is increasingly being recognized within and outside of Indonesia.

 

With his exceptional passion and commitment, extensive knowledge, deep respect and love for people, nature, and traditional wisdom, belief that “human beings are capable of overcoming any challenges,” and outstanding vision. Arief is staking his life to realize the mission of the EBF, to create a restorative and regenerative future by empowering villages with the power of bamboo.

The Mission

Four social and environmental issues tackled by the 1000 Bamboo Villages Initiative

 

Arief’s life mission is to create a community-based restoration economy by building 1,000 bamboo villages in order to tackle four of the most pressing issues of the world all at the same time; 

 

  1. Climate change
  2. Land degradation
  3. Rural poverty
  4. Gender inequality

 

Why bamboo?

 

Scientifically speaking, bamboo is not a tree but a grass. Bamboo grows much faster than trees and can be used as a building material after about three years. Unlike trees which require replanting after being cut down, bamboo can be harvested indefinitely once established. Bamboo does not only absorb carbon dioxide but generates oxygen 30% more than a tree does. With these exceptional qualities, bamboo is being recognized as a viable and sustainable replacement for timber as a building material. 

 

The Environmental Bamboo Foundation prioritizes the following three products:

 

  1. Bamboo srips: Strips of bamboo are pressed together to create a bamboo plank, a sustainable wood alternative that can be used for making furniture, structures, and even high-rise buildings. Used bamboo planks can have a second life as bamboo pellets.  
  2. Bamboo pellets: The byproduct of bamboo strip production which can be the source of renewable energy of the future – bioenergy used as general electricity or safe fuel for cooking. 

Natural bamboo: Beautiful raw materials for making paper and fabric.

 

The global bamboo market is expected to grow to reach approximately USD 100 billion by 2025 (70 billion in 2019).The growing international bamboo market is expected to reduce the risk of  deforestation and climate change by decreasing the unsustainably high demand for wood as timber.

 

In order to realize this breakthrough strategy to create a community-based restoration economy, Arief is working with the Indonesian government to integrate the 1000 Bamboo Villages project into the national strategy as well as multinational corporations in the timber industry and pulp and paper industry.  

At A Glance

IMPACT HERO 2021

Arief Rabik

 

Country
Indonesia

 

Organization
Environmental Bamboo Foundation

 

Field of Activities
Climate change, land restoration, rural development, women empowerment

 

Support start date
January 1, 2021

 

Support duration
3 years

The Mission

Four social and environmental issues tackled by the 1000 Bamboo Villages Initiative

Arief’s life mission is to create a community-based restoration economy by building 1,000 bamboo villages in order to tackle four of the most pressing issues of the world all at the same time; 

 

  1. Climate change
  2. Land degradation
  3. Rural poverty
  4. Gender inequality

 

Why bamboo?

Scientifically speaking, bamboo is not a tree but a grass. Bamboo grows much faster than trees and can be used as a building material after about three years. Unlike trees which require replanting after being cut down, bamboo can be harvested indefinitely once established. Bamboo does not only absorb carbon dioxide but generates oxygen 30% more than a tree does. With these exceptional qualities, bamboo is being recognized as a viable and sustainable replacement for timber as a building material. 

 

The Environmental Bamboo Foundation prioritizes the following three products:

  1. Bamboo srips: Strips of bamboo are pressed together to create a bamboo plank, a sustainable wood alternative that can be used for making furniture, structures, and even high-rise buildings. Used bamboo planks can have a second life as bamboo pellets.  
  2. Bamboo pellets: The byproduct of bamboo strip production which can be the source of renewable energy of the future – bioenergy used as general electricity or safe fuel for cooking. 
  3. Natural bamboo: Beautiful raw materials for making paper and fabric. 

 

The global bamboo market is expected to grow to reach approximately USD 100 billion by 2025 (70 billion in 2019).

The growing international bamboo market is expected to reduce the risk of  deforestation and climate change by decreasing the unsustainably high demand for wood as timber. 

At A Glance

IMPACT HERO 2021

Arief Rabik

 

Country
Indonesia

 

Organization
Environmental Bamboo Foundation

 

Field of Activities
Climate change, land restoration, rural development, women empowerment

 

Support start date
January 1, 2021

 

Support duration
3 years

The Cause

In the shades of economic development

Indonesia is a rapidly developing country and its global GDP has been continuously increasing over the past decade. However, the benefits of such economic development are enjoyed by the very limited wealthy population while the majority of Indonesia, especially in the eastern half of the archipelago, is left behind in poverty. 

 

Gender inequalities remain widespread and substantial, with men getting paid three times as much as women on average. 

 

The gap between urban and rural development is also significant. People living in rural farming areas still do not have sufficient access to education, medical care, and basic social services.  

Arief_cause2
Climate change and environmental degradation
Arief_cause3

Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelagic state consisting of over 17,500 islands. The country is blessed with a wide variety of beautiful nature such as ocean, wetlands, peatlands, tropical rainforests, and mountainous areas. Indonesia is also vulnerable to the effects of climate change such as floods, droughts, and rising sea levels. 

 

The rapid acceleration of environmental degradation in recent years is the defining global crisis of our time. Degradation of Indonesian rainforests caused by the development of farming areas, deforestation, construction of plantations, and forest fires are leaving immense scars on the nature of this country. 

 

Indonesia is the world’s tenth largest emitter of GHG, and half of the CO2 is reported to be caused by land degradation. 

The Vision

The 1000 Bamboo Villages project is an outstanding breakthrough in tackling climate change, land degradation, rural poverty, and gender inequality all at the same time.

 

Land restoration through planting bamboo will revitalize “the lungs of the earth” to absorb more CO2 and foster its ecosystem with increased biodiversity. Hydrologically versatile soil will be the strong foundation to protect the land from further degradations. Creating job opportunities for farmers and women in this process will cultivate their abilities and economic stability to improve the wellbeing of the local villagers. 

 

Ultimately Arief aims to scale this breakthrough strategy in nine countries by 2036 creating 10,000 Bamboo Villages overall, which would sequester 3% of global emissions.. 

Earth Company’s Support

Arief_support-min

Earth Company’s support for Arief was kicked off in January 2021 and is anchored in the following three pillars: 

 

  1. Providing strategic marketing support and creating fundraising materials 
  2. Building strategic partnerships with key Japanese corporations in the forestry industry 
  3. Expanding the marketing channels of bamboo products

 

In the first half of 2021, Earth Company began by deepening its understanding of   EBF’s work and bamboo’s potential while supporting Arief to gain funding as described in the first pillar. In the latter half of 2021, we have shifted the focus to develop business partnerships as illustrated in the second pillar.  

Earth Company’s Support

Arief_support-min

Earth Company’s support for Arief was kicked off in January 2021 and is anchored in the following three pillars: 

 

  1. Providing strategic marketing support and creating fundraising materials 
  2. Building strategic partnerships with key Japanese corporations in the forestry industry 
  3. Expanding the marketing channels of bamboo products

 

In the first half of 2021, Earth Company began by deepening its understanding of   EBF’s work and bamboo’s potential while supporting Arief to gain funding as described in the first pillar. In the latter half of 2021, we have shifted the focus to develop business partnerships as illustrated in the second pillar.