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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/

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