Starfish is pleased to welcome Dr Ruy Anaya de la Rosa as Project Director for our global Biochar for Sustainable Soils (B4SS) initiative.
Ruy is passionate about the potential of biochar to improve soil fertility and sustainability. Ruy’s experience includes biochar, carbon markets, life cycle analysis and the uptake of appropriate technology in less developed countries. Ruy has a Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Science, a Masters of Science in Sustainable Energy Technology and Bachelor of Science in Mechanical with Electrical Engineering.
While born in Mexico, Ruy’s life and work have taken him around the globe and he is fluent in Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, Dutch, German and Swedish.
The purpose of B4SS is to share knowledge and build capacity regarding the use of innovative biochar-based organic amendments for sustainable soils and land management. In this way the project aims to support rural livelihoods for small landholders, enhance productivity, improve the capture and efficient use of nutrients, address declining soil fertility, contribute to watershed management and strengthen resilience to climate change.
Funding of USD2m has been secured from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) for this purpose. The project will leverage an additional USD1¼m of value through collaboration with existing biochar projects from six countries. These projects span a range of different soils, climates and cultures with the core focus being:
- Vietnam ~ rice straw biochar to improve soil fertility and sequester carbon
- Ethiopia & Kenya ~ use of biochar to aid the return of nutrients to depleted cropping soils
- Indonesia ~ working with an existing network of 1,750 small-scale women farmers with dryland cropping systems to improve soils affected by the 2004 tsunami
- China ~ testing biochar for immobilising heavy metals
- Peru ~ biochar to reduce deforestation and improve crop productivity.