Biochar: Rehabilitating agri land, giving jobs to miners


Posted at Mar 01 2017 05:34 AM | Updated as of Mar 01 2017 05:35 AM

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One alternative livelihood the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is looking at is for miners to take part in the rehabilitation of agricultural lands affected by mining activities through Biochar.

DENR Undersecretary Philip Camara said a lot of the mines that Secretary Gina Lopez ordered closed or suspended involved operations that removed from the ground around 10- to 20-meters- deep of subsoil. 

Because of this, he said, the community is left with an environment that can hold very little water.

Biochar, along with other ingredients, can remedy this, he said. 

"I’m talking about using 30 tons per hectare. We’d be able to provide a hospitable environment for plants and trees to regrow and to stabilize the area so that further erosion is controlled," he said.

Camara, who also serves as Philippine Biochar Association president, said he estimates that for every 200 hectares of full rehabilitation, a thousand jobs would be created.

But the real reason for rehabilitating the area, he said, is to repurpose it for a "green economy" which becomes "a sustainable, long-term, progressive virtuous cycle development in the area, providing a lot more jobs than what would have come from extracting the subsoil and shipping it."