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Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microfinance if you are not familar with the concept. I think this is an ideal vehicle for promoting biochar in the developing world. It could also be an avenue for distribution of stoves.
Some concepts & issues:
A proposal would need to be prepared to educate/lobby the MF organisations. Maybe a subject for IBI to support or lead in the future.
- This will allow targeted lending to biochar development.
- Loan repayment may have to be structured to follow increased harvest / production.
- Lender takes the risk associated with increase in production?
- If borrowing was for purchase of biochar for soil enhancement, then it may create a increased demand for charcoal?
- This may create local demand & markets for waste biomass.
- Could help develop local retort technology, pyrolysis entrepreurs & local energy production.
- A structure may be provided for better feed-back on soil enhancement outcomes.
- A structure may be provided for carbon credit value distribution (loan repayment?)
- How can stove distribution be integrated?
IBI have kindly included a red dot on their world map in support of a South East Asian biochar
interest group (http://www.biochar-international.org/regionalgroups/far/east). Dialogue is underway with various international groups seeking support for this work. Your participation and support would be welcome.
Dr Francis Ng makes some interesting observations on his Tropical Garden blog related to the annual regional haze problem in SEA. Forests have been cleared by settlers to gain informal title over the land. They annually slash&burn this land to hold title and in the hope of selling land for future palm oil expansion. Christoph Steiner has studied and written on similar issues in the Amazon proposing a slash&char alternative. Could a future biochar industry help solve the intractable haze problem in SEA? What sort of structures would need to be in place to protect the remaining natural forest?