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This study, prepared by FAO jointly with the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan, is an initiative to incorporate bamboo into the FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) programme. It was undertaken as one of seven thematic studies within the FRA 2005 process and is a first attempt at systematic reporting of the best available information on bamboo resources and utilization at the global level. A total of 22 countries responded to the FAO/INBAR call for information and submitted national reports. Although data availability and quality are often weak, the main value of the study is that it has established a systematic methodology and has launched the most comprehensive assessment of global bamboo resources to date.