Use of biochar (charcoal) to replenish soil carbon pools, restore soil fertility and sequester CO2

Submission by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
4th Session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the
Convention (AWG-LCA 4), Poznan, 1-10 December 2008
Submission containing ideas and proposals on Paragraph 1 of the Bali Action Plan:
Use of biochar (charcoal) to replenish soil carbon pools, restore soil fertility and sequester CO2


UN Climate Change Conference: Biochar present at the Bali Conference
Christoph Steiner, to Terra Preta Discussion List, November

I was hoping that biochar finds a hearing at the UN climate change conference in Bali. I am very glad that biochar got two hours in Bali:
December 13, 13:00-15:00, Bali International Convention Center Events

Theme UNCCD: Sustainable Land Management for Adaptation to Climate Change

Welcome Statement: Executive secretary of the UNCCD

Keynote Statement: President of the UNCCD COP


* Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Zech; University of Bayreuth

An overview of naturally occurring soil carbon, its depletion and how to redress this trend. The origin of Terra Preta soils and how their replication could have the most significant impact on the achievement of the targets of the World Food Summit.

Comment to bioenergy with carbon storage (BECS)
Christoph Steiner, to the Terra Preta Discussion List, November 8, 2007

Carbon-negative bioenergy to cut global warming could drive deforestation:
An interview on BECS with Biopact’s Laurens Rademakers (November 6, 2007)

The article on deals about a proposed mechanism for generating carbon-negative bioenergy. Bioenergy with carbon storage (BECS) holds out the prospect of reducing CO2 from the atmosphere while producing carbon-negative energy. The article provides an informative introduction on how “carbon-negativity” is feasible and assumes geosequestration (developed from the “clean coal” industry,
CO2 capture in depleted oil and gas fields, saline aquifers etc.) as the sequestering tool. Laurens Rademakers delineates the risks such as deforestation of tropical rainforests and leakage of geosequestration. In addition these technologies require vast capital inputs and large scale projects.

The Charcoalab Kit
Christelle H Braun, Naomi Luckett, Christoph Steiner, Robert Flanagan October 26, 2007
[img_assist|nid=494|title=Charcoalab Kit|desc=|link=node|align=left|width=400|height=300]
The Charcoalab Kit contains:
- 6 pots
- 3 baggies of rice hull, temperature specific charcoal
- Litmus paper

Due to issues with posting seeds, we are asking participants to source their
own seeds and to inform us about seeds species and origin (if they come from a
commercial source...maybe a picture of the packet?).

The kits are being distributed by Naomi from New Zealand.

I attach to this mail the instructions for the Charcaoalab Kit, which you
can also download on the website:

For any other information, please send your request to:

The Charcoalab Project: Charcoalab Pot Trials

Robert Flanagan, SAFFE, China, Christelle Braun, Naomi, September 4, 2007

Charcoalab Pot Trials<br />
The Charcoalab Project<br />
September 2007

Select image to access album of photos.


Slash and Char as Alternative to Slash and Burn: soil charcoal amendments maintain soil fertility and establish a carbon sink
Christoph Steiner, Summary of Dissertation, Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Geosciences University of Bayreuth, Germany, Institute of Soil Science and Soil Geography, University of Bayreuth, D-95440 Bayreuth, Germany (email:




Charcoal as Soil Conditioner: Studies in the humid Tropics
Christoph Steiner1, W. G. Teixeira2, J. Lehmann3and W. Zech1, U Georgia TP 2004


Slash and Char as an Alternative to Slash and Burn
Christoph Steiner, Christoph Steiner, University of Bayteuth, Germany, Manaus, Brasil, 2002

Studies on the Human Impact on Forests and Floodplains in the Tropics (SHIFT)

Soil charcoal amendments maintain soil fertility and create a carbon sink



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