Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Regional progress report to IBI

The following is the first Far East biochar report. Just a quick snapshot on some of the current known activities in the region. A more complete picture will be available when the regional interest group has more structure and a platform for presenting information. A google-group structure is proposed as an interum platform.

Jochen Binikowski has been working with biochar since February 2007. He is living in and reporting from the front line, on biochar experiments with farmers in the Philippines.

An ACIAR funded project "Building more profitable and resilient farming systems in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam and New South Wales", is being lead by Dr. Peter Slavich (NSW DII) . Biochar experiments are underway in Aceh and Tamworth (NSW, Australia) on rice and dryland crops.

Funding has just been released for the first biochar soil trial in Malaysia. The study is being led by Theeba Manickam, a researcher with MARDI (govt. horticulture agency). A number of other researchers, universities and agriculture organisations are expressing interest in biochar research. Overseas collaborations and funding options are being investigated. Some local and regionally specific research opportunities include soil rehabilitation (tin mining, bris) and the annual haze issue (slash&char).

Information on future, current and historical biochar work is being accumulated for reference on a future website. Any contribution to this would be welcome.