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Sonoma Biochar Initiative (SBI)

Sonoma to form local Biochar Initiative, March 2010

A group is forming in the city and county of Sonoma, California (United States) to promote biochar. The Sonoma Biochar Initiative (SBI) will promote biochar production and application in the Sonoma Valley area. SBI will seek strategic partners and a non-profit umbrella organization with the goal of educating local agricultural operations, local government, and other stakeholders on the advantages of biochar as a tool for GHG reduction while enhancing agriculture. SBI will advance biochar as the “fast mitigation technology” cited in international climate talks by advocating protocols already under discussion at the Climate Action Reserve and inclusion of biochar to advance Sonoma County’s Climate Action Plan. SBI will seek funding to establish a demonstration project for biochar production and application, experimenting with agricultural and urban yardwaste feedstocks. 

For more information, please email Ray Gallian or call: 707-287-1995

SBI Vision Statement

  1. Promote biochar production and application as the “fast mitigation technology” cited in international climate talks.
  2. Engage stakeholders in the advantages of biochar as a tool for climate policy and agricultural benefit.
  3. Promote policy at all levels of government to foster early adoption of biochar production and application through appropriate carbon valuation and funding laws as well as technology and offset protocols.
  4. Acquire funding, define and address regulatory hurdles to develop a Sonoma Valley Biochar Demonstration Project to show viability for biochar production; carbon sequestration; agricultural soil amendment; energy cogeneration; other related processes to “close the loop”.

March 2011 Update

The group has been meeting monthly with county government agencies to promote biochar. Under the informal moniker of the Biochar Working Group, they meet with the Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA, lead agency), Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA), and the Sonoma County Agriculture Preservation and Open Space District. Joining in discussion at various times are the Climate Protection Campaign, Sonoma Compost Company, Trip Allen- producer of “Biocharm”, and one presentation from a UC Davis researcher. They are also looking into developing a west coast biochar conference with a focus on practical agricultural applications in 2012.