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Press Release

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Release date:  7 March 2022

Breaking news:  Biochar Life’s new accreditation sets the groundwork for pioneering collaboration with smallholder farmers in the battle against climate change.

Biochar Life, PBC, (“Biochar Life”) an impact venture of Warm Heart Worldwide (“Warm Heart”) is pleased to announce the completion of their European Biochar Certification (“EBC”) standard for tropical farmer accreditation audit with the Ithaka Institute.  Biochar Life is among the first organizations in the world to receive the new EBC “tropical farmer” accreditation.  It is now positioned to help smallholder (“SMH”) farmers throughout the world to reduce crop waste burning, slow climate change, clean the environment, improve public health and reduce their own poverty by selling carbon removal credits (c-sink credits) on global markets.

“We greatly appreciate the support and guidance of Dr. Hans-Peter Schmidt and the Ithaka Institute team,” shares Dr. Michael Shafer, co-founder of Warm Heart.  “The collaboration with the Ithaka Institute and obtaining the accreditation marks a major milestone for us and the 2.5 billion poor smallholder farmers who live beyond the fringe of development around the world.”  

Warm Heart’s journey with smallholder farmers and biochar started over six (6) years ago with the launch of it’s Stop-the-Smoke initiative.  The initiative focuses on encouraging smallholder farmers to produce biochar from their crop waste instead of open field burning it, and then to use the biochar to regenerate their soil or improve animal feed.  Open field burning generates huge quantities of greenhouse gas and killer PM2.5 (smoke) emissions.  Since the launch of the Stop-the-Smoke initiative, the leadership and volunteers of Warm Heart have trained over 10,000 farmers throughout countries in SE Asia and Africa to make and use biochar using environmentally sustainable methods.  

Developed by the Ithaka Institute, the European Biochar Certification standard is globally recognized by biochar producers who are committed to issuing science-based carbon-sink credits.  Over the past 12 months, the teams from Ithaka Institute and Warm Heart have collaborated to refine and pilot the standard in multiple countries.  As shared by Dr. Hans-Peter Schmidt, Director of the Ithaka Institute, “We believe the new adaptation and accreditation for tropical farmers addresses a critical need for an economically obtainable yet robust methodology and standard for smaller producers, such as smallholder farmers.”  

The new standard is a key component of Biochar Life’s solution which includes a wide range of biochar training programs for building and using different types of low-tech equipment and making and applying biochar in various ways. The solution includes a blockchain-enabled tracking platform and cell phone-based mobile app provided by strategic partner Task.io. The Task.io platform has been adapted specifically for the EBC standard.  Verified data submitted by independent verification teams in the field is recorded to the Stellar blockchain which provides immutable proof of biochar production and usage activities.  “Ultimately, we wanted to ensure a solution that is science-backed, and easy-to-understand and use. Bottom line, we want a system that is entirely transparent and makes us openly accountable to sellers, buyers and investors,” says Jason Highberger, Acting CEO of Biochar Life.

Press contact:  Jason Highberger, jason@biochar.life

About Ithaka Institute (https://www.ithaka-institut.org

The Ithaka Institute is an international open-source network for carbon strategies. It is a non-profit research foundation with the Headquarter in Europe having independent offices in Germany, the USA, and Nepal. In the last decade, Ithaka became a leading research collaboration for carbon sequestration and cycling through agronomic methods. The Institute is known for its expertise in production, post-production treatment, and use of biochar. Ithaka established the European Biochar Certificate and developed numerous biochar based products. They are engaged in several food security, soil fertility, and reforestation projects in Eastern Asia and Latin America.

About Warm Heart (https://warmheartworldwide.org

Strong communities make a better world.  Warm Heart is a grassroots community development organization serving the rural poor of the developing world for over 13 years. It partners with communities to find environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable solutions to community-identified needs. It operates in Thailand, Malawi, Ghana, Congo, and Kenya, and has established charities in Thailand, Ghana and the United States. Warm Heart is non-denominational, non-discriminatory and nonpartisan, and follows the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals.

About Biochar Life (https://biochar.life

An impact venture of Warm Heart Worldwide, Biochar Life cools the climate by helping to remove carbon from the atmosphere.  We mobilize a huge previously untapped human resource, the smallholder farmers of the developing world, to convert currently burned crop waste, a huge, previously ignored source of greenhouse gasses, into carbon sequestering biochar.  Biochar Life’s mission is to support the environmental and wellness needs of the general public via the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and reduction of emissions.  Our proceeds and future investments will be deployed to improve the lives of rural communities and uplift the underrepresented, which will be accomplished by removing still more carbon dioxide and reducing emissions further. We are committed to gender and income equality by employing fair and equal hiring practices for the once excluded.

About Task.io (https://task.io

Task.io is a fintech company that helps social enterprises gather data from the field and report on social and environmental impact being created. The company is headquartered out of the UK with an operational base in Thailand. Built on Stellar’s blockchain, the Task platform enables Biochar Life to verify information around the creation and production of biochar, which is used to generate digital assets representing carbon removed, in the form of fungible and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). These assets can be purchased as offsets by organizations and individuals helping to complete the cycle and send funds back to the program and the farming communities.

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