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 the release of the Draft Policy Statement for Freshwater Management this month.
Biochar Network New Zealand is participating in these public policy discussions, throwing light on biochar based applications that provide solutions to intractable problems currently faced by New Zealand farmers.
BNNZ were hosted by MPI in Wellington on 11 September to provide a biochar briefing to staff and other invited guests from government and industry. Ten BNNZ representatives attended, representing a wide range of research, industry and community interests, and providing a broad picture on the status of biochar in NZ and around the world.
Examples of recent industry activity were represented by Parengarenga Incorporation (Northland farming, forestry and tourism), SoilPro (horticulture soil products – Pukekohe) and Project Biochar (biochar production contractors – Otago).
Researchers from Lincoln and Massey Universities provided a summary of current knowledge on research relating to the properties of biochar and its impact on plant growth and soil properties and processes.
Carbon sequestration pathways and water quality benefits were an important focus of presentations and discussion. With voluntary carbon markets for biochar now being established around the world, BNNZ believe it is time for government and industry to explore, invest and act on the opportunities that biochar presents.
BNNZ look forward to continued engagement with government and industry in an effort to increase the awareness and adoption of biochar in a resilient and climate-friendly productive sector.
BNNZ promotes and supports activities that provide widespread awareness, understanding and acceptance of biochar in New Zealand, leading to a diverse range of production and application scenarios for the benefit of New Zealand’s agriculture, industry and environment.
Biochar is a form of charcoal used to lift productivity in agriculture and as a long-lived carbon store in soils. It can be used to enhance water quality and as a bioremediation tool for contaminated soils. The production of biochar can also deliver secondary bioenergy benefits and deal with many types of ‘liability’ biomass. Biochar has attracted worldwide attention as a Negative Emissions Technology (NET) in the latest IPCC report, presented at COP24. Biochar has been identified as having positive impacts on 12 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
This press release is approved by the BNNZ management committee. To engage with BNNZ, we refer you to https://bnnz.org.nz/
For further information email firstname.lastname@example.org For more information about biochar please see:
Parengarenga Incorporation is not just focused on producing quality sheep and beef.
General manager Jon Brough, assisted by farm manager Kathryne Easton and others,
has wide-reaching visions of what the future holds to make the best use of the land.
One initiative they are investigating is the use of a carboniser machine to turn
forestry waste into charcoal, BioChar.
They have researched what is happening in Australia with the technology where the
product produced can be used to offset carbon emissions.
All going well, Parengarenga would like to see the same results on this side of the
The machine is fed with slash and waste from a forestry skid site, which is then
turned into something far more useful.
it’s a cooking process where we load it to a certain temperature and
then hold it at that temperature till it pyrolyses and produces a
carbon product. From there we’re going to look at options around
utilising the carbon either by applying it to the pasture or using it as
an animal feed in terms of an animal lick,” Easton said.
She suggests they will look at adding molasses or something similar to encourage
stock to eat it and by offering the stock access to the mix they could reduce the need for drenching.
The carboniser they are trying is a small machine but if successful they will look
at bigger machines that could also provide usable energy to power houses.
For environmentally focused Easton the project fits well within her mantra and the
incorporation’s values of doing the right thing by the soil.
grown a tree, you’ve got a waste product. We turn that waste product
a valuable product, add it back to our pasture and the cycle continues.
The land becomes more effective on the next forestry rotation as well
so you live with a minimal amount of trash.
“So, it’s a really nice cyclic evaluation of a product that would otherwise just
see this project as an exploration into our future as we analyse our
to head towards a carbon-neutral, methane-reduced future. This is a
unique part of the country with a Maori incorporation on a journey with
their whenua with aspirations to make a difference in the national and
international agricultural market arena.”
Don Coyne from ANZBI was in NZ for 10 days in June leading up to the workshops hosted by Dung Beetle Innovations in Whenuapai on 19-20 June. Below is a link to Don’s report on his biochar experiences in NZ.
Linked here is the first of two articles in this month’s edition of NZ Lifestyle Block magazine, featuring the work of BNNZ committee members. I suggest supporting the magazine by buying yourself a hard copy.