Climate-Smart Education Initiative Overview

In partnership with Climate Solutions Advancement Network (ClimateSAN), CharityHelp International (CHI) is in the process of developing a climate-smart education initiative that would leverage the benefits of and revenues generated by biochar.  To provide some background for this planned initiative, see the below introduction:

Opportunity to Implement Biochar and Climate-Smart Education on a Global Scale

As a result of advances in technologies in several areas, the growth of communities implementing these technologies and funding for carbon emissions removal, an opportunity has emerged to implement the production and utilization of biochar along with climate-smart education on a global scale.  Given below is a brief summary that outlines this opportunity.
There are several climate-smart technologies and approaches to education that are creating very significant results.  In addition, many billions of dollars are flowing into activities that reduce or remove carbon from the atmosphere.  Since producing biochar from biomass and incorporating it into soil is an internationally recognized way of removing carbon from the atmosphere, substantial money can be earned by creating this biochar.  Even more beneficial than creating biochar is combining it with nutrients and utilizing it in soil.  For example, one study found that biochar combined with compost increased average crop yield significantly by 40% compared with the control, which was compost without biochar.  Another independent study showed how adding biochar along with mineral fertilizer to some poor soil helped it grow 880% more food from this soil compared to just adding mineral fertilizer. (Biochar is a charcoal-like substance that’s made by heating organic waste (also called biomass) in an oxygen-limited environment.)
For the purposes of this document, climate-smart education refers to a wide range of educational activities that support climate action.  This includes providing education to girls and training people on a wide range of climate-smart technologies like drip irrigation and biochar producing equipment.  Educating girls has a significant effect on increasing a community’s resilience to climate change and reducing carbon emissions.  When empowered with high-school or greater education, they have access to wider possibilities and can contribute to a community’s resilience to climate change.  Another co-benefit of educating girls through high-school is that the typical family size has been observed to be reduced by about half compared to providing no education.  
Currently, a considerable amount of money is flowing into biochar initiatives and much more is expected.  For example, most of the carbon removal initiatives on an  international carbon trading platform called Puro Earth are related to biochar.   As well, there is a rapid growth of companies committing to Net Zero by 2040 or 2050, which will require many of them to buy carbon credits from platforms like Puro Earth to meet their Net Zero commitments.  For example, 21% of 2,000 of the world’s largest public companies, representing sales of nearly $14 trillion, now have Net Zero commitments by 2050.
Now that the global carbon trading section (article 6) of the Paris agreement was agreed to in Glasgow at COP26, many billions of dollars can be expected to flow into this area.  To view information about this development, see this article by the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA): IETA welcomes Glasgow Climate Pact.
Over the last few decades, the global biochar community has grown substantially.  To view information about it, see: International Biochar Initiative.
Now that substantial money can be earned by producing and utilizing biochar, many other communities can benefit by working with the biochar community including the girls’ education, agricultural training, climate action, and entrepreneurship facilitation communities.  If these other communities did work with the international biochar community, the production and utilization of biochar around the world would likely grow very rapidly.  In addition to generating substantial income for the participants, it would enable many areas of the world to grow more food and become more resilient to climate change.  Therefore, if biochar and climate-smart education were implemented on a global scale, this would have a very substantial impact on reducing world hunger, reducing population growth rate in many developing countries, and increasing stability as well as increasing resilience to climate change.
To view more information about this opportunity to implement biochar and climate-smart education on a global scale, see this page on

Introduction to CHI’s Planned Climate-Smart Education (CSE) Initiative

CHI will be focused on the education component of this planned initiative, and ClimateSAN will be focused on the Biochar component.

Background: Growth of Free Education Resources and Communication Technologies

6-trendsarrows-Blk-Txt-GreyBkgd2014-11-20A combination of new technologies, communications infrastructure and free educational information is creating a substantial opportunity to support education in developing countries. There are now free eLibraries of educational content available that anyone, anywhere can download onto a computer and share with other digital devices. By combining access to this offline educational content with Internet access, students can communicate with teachers and volunteer coaches in other parts of the world using free video conferencing services like Google Meet or Skype and email to enable an integrated educational experience.  An example of this approach has been implemented by Professor Sugata Mitra, who has been engaging volunteers in the UK to motivate children in India to learn via Skype.

Our planned initiative will help to seize this opportunity by demonstrating this approach and helping other organizations utilize these free educational resources. In addition, we plan to help other organizations learn how they can access funding to support implementing climate-smart education, including earning carbon credits by producing and utilizing biochar.

Building a Master offline eLibrary

CHI and its partner, ClimateSAN observed that there has been a substantial growth of free educational information that could be provided to students in developing countries at virtually no cost.  Therefore, CHI is in the process of building a master eLibrary of free educational information for this purpose.

Bringing it All Together with Remote Coaching

Bringing all of these converging trends together is the support of remote coaches. In many cases, the amount of information available through free eLibraries of educational content can be overwhelming for a student to process without the support of a guide to help work through challenging concepts and for encouragement. The goal of the planned CSE Initiative’s planned coaching program is to match students to coaches that can inspire students to learn from their available resources and, as Professor Mitra suggests, from each other.

Pilot Program and Initial Scale-Up Strategy

We’re planning to launch a pilot program with selected training centers in Africa. However, this is just one step in the direction of realizing the potential of this opportunity. To help realize this potential more quickly, we plan to work with ClimateSAN to introduce the benefits of combining biochar and climate-smart education to many other organizations.  Given below is an outline of an initial scale-up strategy:

  1. Partner with additional agricultural and/or climate technology training centres to demonstrate what can be done on a global scale.
  2. Compile and publish resources about how existing educational institutions worldwide can use new educational resources to support their work.  For example, see the webpage showing a wide range of educational eLibraries that can be downloaded for offline viewing by students: Open Education Resources To Go (OER2Go).
  3. Introduce the opportunity to generate income from biochar production and utilization, to several different communities including the ones shown below:
    1. Agricultural training
    2. Climate action
    3. Girls’ and women’s education
    4. Entrepreneurship facilitation
    5. Population growth awareness
  4. Provide scholarships for women and girls, who are interested in technologies and solutions that can generate income and help mitigate climate change. 

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