Thursday, 28 May 2009

IBI South East Asia

I have created this blog with the specific goal of establishing a South East Asian biochar interest group similar to others that are show-cased on the International Biochar Initiative (IBI) website.

I recently attended the first Asia-Pacific Biochar Conference and noted that groups are currently active in Japan, Australia and New Zealand only (in the SEA region). I foresee that groups will eventually be formed in many SEA countries. I hope to gather interest for a group here in Malaysia, but as a first step, I propose that a regional group be formed. I suggest this because there are many countries in the region at various stages of economic development that may struggle to get a group underway. Also, regional activity on biochar currently ranges from minor to almost nil.

I have contacted IBI and received their support for a SEA biochar group. They will be able to offer a webpage on their new site which will be released mid-June.

I suggest that a small management team be tasked with activities leading to the formal establishment of the SEA group. These activities might be,
  1. communication with IBI & existing regional groups (Japan, Australia, NZ)
  2. planning for a management team meeting
  3. discussion on the structure of a regional group
  4. regional biochar initiatives
  5. investigation of local, regional & international funding avenues for the above activities.
I don't think that a management team or biochar group needs formal structure yet. This could happen as and when activity grows.

If you have an opinion on this proposal, then I would welcome your posting to this blog.

Kind regards,


Art said...

Hi Trevor,

Art Donnelly, checking in from Seattle. We have, of course, been following news of the great work you folks are doing across the water. Thanks so much for taking us into consideration, in regard to the "naming" issue. I am sure you will come up with something ringing: does CharPac sound to hip-hop?
Keep us in the loop.



Erich J. Knight said...

Welcome aborad the Biochar Bus.
I will post your group to the biochar list and Data base at;

Here are my current links and updates on research & developments;

Biochar Soil Technology.....Husbandry of whole new orders of life

Biotic Carbon, the carbon transformed by life, should never be combusted, oxidized and destroyed. It deserves more respect, reverence even, and understanding to use it back to the soil where 2/3 of excess atmospheric carbon originally came from.

Wise Land management; Organic farming and afforestation can build back our soil carbon,

Biochar allows the soil food web to build much more recalcitrant organic carbon, ( living biomass & Glomalins) in addition to the carbon in the biochar.

Biochar viewed as soil Infrastructure; The old saw;
"Feed the Soil Not the Plants" becomes;
"Feed, Cloth and House the Soil, utilities included !".
Free Carbon Condominiums with carboxyl group fats in the pantry and hydroxyl alcohol in the mini bar.
Build it and the Wee-Beasties will come.
As one microbiologist said on the Biochar list; "Microbes like to sit down when they eat".
By setting this table we expand husbandry to whole new orders of life.

One aspect of Biochar systems are Cheap, clean biomass stoves that produce biochar and no respiratory disease. At scale, the health benefits are greater than ending Malaria.
A great example;

The biochar Fund is also doing amazing work in the developing world;

Also , I would like Rebut the BioFuelWatch folk's recent criticisms with the petition of 1500 Cameroon Farmers;
The Biochar Fund
and to explain their program;

Senator / Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar has done the most to nurse this biofuels system in his Biochar provisions in the 07 & 08 farm bill,

Charles Mann ("1491") in the Sept. National Geographic has a wonderful soils article which places Terra Preta / Biochar soils center stage.

Biochar data base; TP-REPP

NASA's Dr. James Hansen Global warming solutions paper and letter to the G-8 conference, placing Biochar / Land management the central technology for carbon negative energy systems.

The many new university programs & field studies, in temperate soils; Cornell, ISU, U of H, U of GA, Virginia Tech, JMU, New Zealand and Australia.

Soil Carbon Sequestration Standards Committee. Hosted by Monsanto, this group of diverse interests has been hammering out issues of definition, validation and protocol. The past week, this group have been pressing soil sequestration's roll for climate legislation to congress.

Along these lines internationally, the work of the IBI fostering the application by 13 countries for UN recognition of soil carbon as a sink with biochar as a clean development mechanism will open the door for programs across the globe.

This new Congressional Research Service report (by analyst Kelsi Bracmort) is the best short summary I have seen so far - both technical and policy oriented. .

This is the single most comprehensive report to date, covering more of the Asian and Australian work;

Given the current "Crisis" atmosphere concerning energy, soil sustainability, food vs. Biofuels, and Climate Change what other subject addresses them all?

Carbon to the Soil, the only ubiquitous and economic place to put it.