2009 Year in Review for IBI

The International Biochar Initiative has gone from strength to strength in the past year, and TEPUI are delighted to see (and occasionally contribute to) that progress. They have just released their 2009 Review, and I have included it in this post.

If you can see the potential for this highly scalable technology for rebuilding soil productivity while sequestering significant amounts of carbon, then consider helping out IBI with a membership. Links for all that and more are in the review text which follows:

"IBI has achieved some major milestones in 2009 that we are proud to share. Organizationally, we grew from two part-time staff members in 2008 to six at the end of 2009. We began the process of expanding our board, bringing on new board member David Wayne in October. We drafted IBI's first strategic plan and launched a membership program. We convened a new advisory committee of 39 members from 13 countries to consult on all aspects of IBI's work. Thanks to the hard work of administrative director Lee Parker, we set up all the systems for planning, accounting and reporting that a non-profit organization needs in support of the IBI programs that we are developing to serve the biochar community. Here are some highlights of our program work in 2009:

What Is Biochar? A Valuable Soil Amendment

Biochar is a fine-grained, highly porous charcoal that helps soils retain nutrients and water.

Biochar ready to apply

"Biochar is found in soils around the world as a result of vegetation fires and historic soil management practices. Intensive study of biochar-rich dark earths in the Amazon (terra preta), has led to a wider appreciation of biochar’s unique properties as a soil conditioner. "Biochar can be an important tool to increase sustainable food production in areas with severely depleted soils, scarce organic resources, and inadequate water and chemical fertilizer supplies.

"Biochar also improves water quality and quantity by increasing soil retention of nutrients and agrochemicals for plant and crop utilization. More nutrients stay in the soil instead of leaching into groundwater and causing pollution.

Biochar for Environmental Management - Book Review

Biochar for Environmental Management

"There is one way we could save ourselves..." 
In a recent interview in New Scientist James Lovelock, originator of the Gaia theory, cited biochar as the one chance we have left to save humankind.

Finally, the long-awaited “biochar bible” has been published. I have been reading and reviewing Lehmann and Joseph’s textbook on biochar for the past month, and I am thoroughly impressed. The edited collection of articles treads the difficult line between

"In a revolutionary age, with rapid change all around us, our architects tools are deadly. It is time for us to put them down and ... live and think as gardeners".
— Joshua Cooper Ramo

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