Biochar is an ancient tradtional agricultural technique that has been used by cultures in the Amazon, Africa, Japan, China and many other places. Today, communities all over the globe are reviving this tradition and experimenting with making and using biochar. Get involved and see what you can do in your community. There are lots of resources right here on the IBI site.
The International Year of Soils (IYS) 2015 is a year-long effort to highlight the importance of healthy soils and to advocate for sustainable soil management. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations is implementing the IYS 2015 within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership and in collaboration with governments and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. The IYS 2015 goal is to raise awareness among civil society and decision makers and educate the public about the crucial role soils play in food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation, essential ecosystem services, poverty alleviation, and sustainable development.
Many country-specific soil science societies will implement activities in their communities in support of the IYS 2015. Although biochar is not specifically named as part of the objectives of the IYS 2015, this year provides the biochar community a good opportunity to highlight biochar’s potential role in creating and maintaining healthy soils. IBI encourages regional biochar groups and biochar supporters to host local talks on biochar and soils and to reach out to media to highlight the role of biochar in sustaining soil health. We invite you to send us any information on your work in relation to the IYS 2015 for posting here. For more information on the IYS 2015, please see: http://www.fao.org/soils-2015/en
One resource we highly recommend is this article with tips on making and using biochar from NASA, the US National Aeronautics and Space Agency.
See a video of the biochar making process by the Tidewater Builders Association here: http://youtu.be/uKSLbjHWyjA
Photo: From left, Doris Hamill from NASA and Jim Steward of Bluebird Gap Farm and Langley intern Adam Crockett fire up the pyrolyzer at Langley to make biochar. Credit: NASA
You don't have to wait for the next Global Work Party. Gather your family, friends and associates and plan a biochar work party or educational event. See below for 10 BIOCHAR EVENT IDEAS. SHARE your event details and pictures. NETWORK with others for help and ideas at Facebook, LinkedIn and the Biochar Yahoo groups. Scroll down for more information:
1. Plant a tree with biochar
2. Plant a 350 banner in biochar
3. Hold a Biochar BBQ - make biochar and cook food on biochar stoves
4. Incorporate biochar in a community garden
5. Set up a biochar experiment to test biochar in pots
6. Sponsor a biochar stove making workshop
7. Conduct a survey of waste feedstock that could be used to make biochar in your area
8. Hold a biochar meeting to educate people about the potential of biochar
9. Hold a biochar action party to write letters and articles urging action on climate change and biochar.
10. Showcase your Biochar Company or project