The development of biochar as a soil amendment so improve water retention, amend soil pH and biological imbalances, improve fertility and potentially to sequester carbon, is at a very early stage. Consequently there are no generally agreed definitions, standards or best practices for its application in any of its potential fields of service, nor are there any universal measures of expected outcomes or results which can vary widely depending on how the biochar is produced, how it is applied and the kinds of soil, climate and land management regimes in which it is used.
There’s a lot of work being done in a number of areas and a variety of organisations which are suggesting potential standards and best practises but for the moment they are all either in development or voluntary. In essence the situation is currently buyer beware and home producer be careful.
This part of AllBlackEarth exists to collect and discuss the development of policy, regulation and standards that apply to biochar and its use in all areas.
For more information you might want to start here for New Zealand updates and at IBI for more international and advanced discussions. IBI also have a NZ biochar policy page. Another perspective on biochar policy issues can be found on the Biochar-policy discussion forum here:
Feel free to add comments or links to relevant documents that will help policy makers, regulators and interested parties to come to reasonable, effective policies that enable users to feel confident that they have good products of acceptable standards that they can use effectively in their own landscapes.
‘Our man in Wellington’ has released a new paper on biochar. This has been prepared to update policy folk in the capital… fingers crossed that it will be seen by receptive eyes. Check it out here: https://winsleys.wordpress.com/2020/02/14/economic-opportunities-for-biochar-in-new-zealand/ … Continue reading
The following PR has just been circulated: BNNZ Government Agency briefing – Wellington, 11 September Government policy work on the Carbon Zero bill highlights connections between climate change, carbon sequestration and agriculture. Water quality and allocation are also topical with … Continue reading
Check out Peter’s submission. I’m sure a few biochar folk have posted… it would be good to have links to others ideas & thinking on biochar & the bill. via Submission on Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Bill I’ve looked … Continue reading
Biochar is an effective negative emissions technology: so what are we waiting for? Peter Winsley has a long association with biochar, dating back to before the establishment of NZBRC in 2007. You may find here, his frequently referenced 2007 ‘Biochar and … Continue reading
This video is available from the Royal Society of NZ website. I provided notice of this on the ABE FB page back on 9 March 2018, as I was aware that Annette Cowie was a speaker and she has been … Continue reading
Dr Pia Piroschka Otte is visiting NZ (again) and will be based in Otago University for about one month from 22 November. She has kindly provided a copy of a new research publication which can be shared upon request… Abstract … Continue reading
I’ve been following the Waikato Regional Council process on improving water quality & nutrient management which will lead to changes in how farming is carried out in the region. You can find earlier posts on this under the “Waikato” tag. … Continue reading
The email below has been shared with 13 folk who have expressed interest in participating in an interim committee, to help establish a NZ biochar organisation. This process was previously notified on 22 July by email to all NZ members … Continue reading
This new report is a bit of a disappointment if you are looking for any focus on biochar or soil carbon but they did at least try to include something… (but only in the supporting technical report!) Pg.65: “Finally, biochar … Continue reading
This was 5th December (aligned with past King of Thailand’s birthday) so we missed celebrating it here at ABE… & in NZ… and the world generally! After watching the video below, I can see that the worlds disconnection with soil … Continue reading