Africa faces severe problems of land degradation, soil erosion, deforestation and unsustainable use of fuels for cooking. The current rates of soil nutrient depletion and deforestation due to forest land clearing for agriculture, pastoral activities, human settlement and fuel collection for energy production are threatening livelihood.
At the same time, the African region has abundance of waste biomass resources that are available almost throughout the year and mainly scattered across hundreds of thousands of rural farms and small-scale non-mechanized processing units. Biochar systems contribute to improve the current situation through exploiting available resources at their best, producing biochar while providing multiple benefits such as affordable and clean energy, carbon sequestration, reduction of the pressure on forests, landscape restoration, fight against desertification, enhancement of soil productivity, health amelioration, private sector development and women empowerment. Biochar systems contribute to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The principal objective of ABP is to promote biochar systems implementation through building capacities and coordinating communication on opportunities to optimize biomass and bio-waste use in order to improve resource management in the sectors of agriculture, environment, energy, health and socioeconomic development.
ABP facilitates the production and dissemination of improved clean cooking stoves and energy units using the pyrolytic gasification technology fuelled by waste biomass, thereby helping to ameliorate the persistent problem of overreliance on woody biomass to meet domestic and industrial energy demand.
The specific objectives of the Partnership include but are not limited to the following:
- Coordinate research on optimal biomass use to sustain energy production, soil fertility and crop productivity as well as economic and environmental assessment of services and risks associated with biochar production and use in Africa;
- Facilitate the participatory development of biochar production technologies and systems through the creation of new opportunities for African local populations for effective energy use and soil and health improvement;
- Explore options for Carbon Credits financing;
- Promote availability of science-based knowledge for African stakeholders and end users on aspects related to biomass, pyrolysis and biochar utilization as solutions for sustainable ecosystems, livelihood and businesses;
- Set up an African biochar knowledge, experiences and good practices repository by documenting and mapping pyrolysis and biochar production and utilization methods adopted in Africa;
- Raise awareness among African organizations and communities on the multiple benefits of biochar systems and develop programs for their introduction;
- Develop appropriate information and dossiers for potential donors and investors;
- Promote biochar systems towards policy and decision makers at national, regional and continental scale;
- Produce toolkits to facilitate biochar systems dissemination;
- Cooperate with other activities, projects and organizations outside Africa.