Five hundred delegates attending the annual meeting and conference of the International Rubber Research and Development Board (IRRDB) in Sanya, Hainan, China on Monday called for the recognition of the capability of natural rubber (NR) tree to sequester carbon dioxide emissions.
Meeting under the theme “Climate change, low carbon economy and sustainable natural rubber industry,” the conference was organized by IRRDB and sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (CATAS).
The number of foreign participants was the highest in the 50 years’ history of IRRDB.
Ten participants from the Philippines attended the conference. They came from the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR), University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), University of Southern Mindanao (USM), and rubber planters from Mindanao.
BAR initiated the 10-year National Rubber Development Program (NRDP) and supports the expansion of rubber plantations nationwide. NRDP aims to position the Philippines as a major producer in the NR industry.
Rubber (from Hevea brasiliensis or the Para rubber tree) is currently one of the top five priority commodities of DA.
BAR is funding projects devoted to research and development (R&D), commercialization of rubber tree production and rubber harvesting in the country which are implemented through various research facilities of the DA-Regional Field Units (RFUs), and selected state universities and colleges (SUCs).