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Biochar Carbon Offsets

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  • You want to know all the secrets about biochar ?
    This book will help !

    http://www.biochar-books.com

    Here practice and theory merge under a single cover of 'The Biochar Revolution' and reveals hidden secrets of science called Biochar
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  • relevant presentation:
    http://www.slideshare.net/GVEPInternational/how-advance-market-commitments-could-scale-up-sustainable-biomass-energy-in-africa
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  • (comments carried over from previous version of the presentation:)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Max Turunen
    Perhaps this could be used as charcoaling kiln, as materials are possibly already on locations, and no special skills are needed: http://holon.se/folke/carbon/simplechar/simplechar.shtml ? And why not mycelial and layer gardening/ food forest methods, with knowledge of local peoples about the species and their interactions ? + -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Max Turunen
    Wonderfull :) !!! Looks like we have a serious Chance to correct climate troubles, area drought and communal powerty... not to mention resource inequality. And even profitably for all while at it :) Some ideas what could be added and linked to this, and other such, project(s): Satellite Imagery to verify greenery ? Might be cheaper... with existing spectroscopy analysis softwares for ecosystem foliages, might be reliable ? Suitable satellites with rentable time likely are already in orbit... One Laptop Per Child (OLP) project collaboration, to get local living and greenery sustaining communities web pages linked to the Carbon Sequestration Patches... ’Our Company’s 2012 2nd Quarterly carbon sequestration is that batch there... was made by this community... and they sustain themselves and local wildlife with it as can be checked here on their community maintained web page’... also, carbon negativity possibly for (m)any types of companies and organizations and individuals, by financing more, like 2x more, verifiable occurred sequestration than they emit :)
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  • 1. Combining biochar and microfinance for carbon offsets Rasmus Kiehl, Biochar Ontario
  • 2. Rationale
    • Some carbon offsets not easily quantifiable, carbon impact may be difficult to measure
    • Biochar potentially very valuable in carbon offsets:
      • pyrogenic carbon in soil: % easily measurable
      • stable in soil for very long time
      • agricultural and health benefits
      • conservation benefits:  carrying capacity,  human/wildlife conflicts
  • 3. Agricultural yield improvements from biochar tend to be higher in low-carbon soil.
  • 4. The Sahel
    • 350M hectares
    • degraded soils, low SOM, carbon 1-3%
    • frequent drought
  • 5.  
  • 6. Concept
    • collaborate with smallholder farmers in developing countries for carbon sequestration based on biochar
    • payments made only after verified amendment of soils with biochar
    • use of microfinance
    • Participants:
    • Carbon offset organization
    • (Microfinance agency)
    • Smallholder farmer
  • 7.
    • Micro-currency / alternative currency
    • Microfinance to promote uptake of products with beneficial ecological / climate effects
    • (stoves, irrigation equipment, biogas, seeds …)
  • 8. Introductory workshop
    • Negotiations and information
    • basics of biochar
    • specifics of this microfinance mechanism
    • time course and payment schedule
    • other aspects: fencing, irrigation, planting
    • conservation component (reforestation)
  • 9. Time course 0 months: start of project - negotiations, educational session - project area clearly defined, photographed; satellite pictures also taken - initial soil samples taken for lab analysis - pyrolysis equipment (stoves, other) sold to individuals or community at low price (= at cost or subidized)
  • 10. Time course, cont’d 6 months: checking status / educational session / possible first micro-payments 12 months: checking status / educational session / possible partial payments 24 months: measurements taken: - depth of soil char amendment - char content % measured - composition (feedstock) of char determined (?) - rest of payment made (later: stretched-out payments, ongoing initiatives)
  • 11. Specifics: measurements
    • Multiple samples taken per hectare of char-amended soil, variable depth up to 1m
    • Verification / supervision by independent party
    • Samples taken to lab
    • Size of charcoal particles measured
    • Average %value calculated
    • Micro-payment calculated
  • 12. Challenges - local
    • Feedstock: unintended consequences (e.g. deforestation, monocultures, non-native/invasive plants, other adverse effect on wildlife, growing fuel instead of food,…)
    • Particle size: very large chunks could be diverted as fuel ( no “lump charcoal” !) this could be collected (dug up) and sold as fuel after program has ended and payments have been made
    • Overshooting: soil carbon % too high
        • (how to hit exact target when farmer cannot easily measure it ?)
    • Lack of nutrients: all “soaked up” by char no fertilizer available, possibly decreased crop yields, detrimental effects on local food security
    • Credibility /adoption of a specific micro-currency
    • bad stoves: inefficient pyrolysis
  • 13. for offset company Long-term protection of soil investment: erosion (semi-arid and arid regions). Perhaps there is a case for even more stretched-out payments ? 5-10 years ? Ongoing involvement Monitoring during project, after completion Cost to administer ? Little experience Opportunities Challenges Highly verifiable offsets perfectly quantifiable, stable Benefits to local food security Ongoing involvement – good Conservation benefits Cost Could be very inexpensive / highly beneficial.
  • 14.