At the II Brazilian “Rochagem” Conference, which took place in Poco de Caldas, Minas Gerais, in May 2013, Professor Peter van Straaten gave a series of talks on the use of rock dust to increase soil health for agriculture. As a pioneer in the practice of using rocks for soil remineralization, van Straaten shared his extensive knowledge with a broad spectrum of scientists and researchers who attended the conference. An expert in agrogeology, which Van Straaten defines as “geology in service of agriculture,” he has built an international network of projects that study remineralization and sustainable agriculture in Africa. His work has helped lift many small farmers out of poverty in Africa and his research has recently expanded to Indonesia, Cuba and Brazil.
From May 12-17, 2013 the Second Brazilian “Rochagem” Conference convened an impressive assembly of scientists, researchers and technicians from Brazil and around the world. Joanna Campe, Executive Director of Remineralize the Earth, was invited to speak at the conference and was given the honor of presenting second on the opening day of the event. Joanna's presentation entitled “The Potential of Remineralization as a Global Movement” covered the historical context and current developments relating to ecological and social challenges that are being faced regionally and globally. Joanna helped open the conference to the long list of detailed case studies and presentations of the latest research on agricultural uses of different types of rock dust.
2013 USBI North American Biochar Symposium, October 13-16, UMass Amherst
Dr. Tom Goreau will be giving a presentation on the results of the New Harmony Farm CSA Research Project in Newbury, MA which is looking to find the optimum ratios for rock dust and biochar in agriculture. While this research on the most efficacious ratios of compost, rock dust and biochar would be extremely valuable on its own, this study seeks to take the results one step further by analyzing not only plant and soil nutrients and biological activity, but also the effects of this innovative land management technique on soil carbon storage and greenhouse gas emissions. Joanna Campe, Executive Director of RTE will also attend the conference with Dr. Goreau, researcher and RTE board director.
Edinei Almeida is an agroecologist and PhD student currently working to bring awareness and understanding of agroecology to small family farms in rural Brazil. As part of the Brazilian NGO, AS-PTA (Assessoria e Serviços a Projetos em Agricultura Alternativa), whose mission is to promote ecological methods of agriculture that question conventional industrial practices, Edinei works with 500 family farms in Southern Brazil to show the benefits of adding rock dust to soil. Suzi Huff Theodoro, PhD, one of the main organizers of the 2nd Brazilian “Rochagem” Conference, described Edinei as one of the foremost agroecologists in Brazil and Joanna Campe of Remineralize the Earth was inspired to sit down with Edinei at the conference in May 2013 to discuss the growing movement of remineralization in rural Brazil.
Joanna Campe, executive director of Remineralize the Earth, has been invited to give a presentation at the II Brazilian Stonemeal Congress (II BSC). Her presentation will be on an overview of the global remineralization movement and its potential.
RTE has filmed a discussion on the potential role of remineralization to sequester carbon and stabilize the climate. Three prominent speakers participated in the discussion during SER2011, the 4th World Conference on Ecological Restoration in Merida, Mexico: Dr. Goreau, President of the Global Coral Reef Alliance and Coordinator of the UN Commission (SIDSPINST), Ron Larson, an expert on biochar, and Albert Bates, author and director of the Institute for Appropriate Technology.
Dr. Thomas Goreau's research study showing an 8-fold increase in biomass volume of trees remineralized with basalt rock dust, was presented at SER2011 by RTE's executive director Joanna Campe. Click "read more" to view and download the presentation.
Society For Ecological Restoration
4th World Conference
on Ecological Restoration
Mérida, Mexico - August 21-25, 2011
Dr. Thomas Goreau, Harvard Ph.D. in Biogeochemistry and President of the Global Coral Reef Alliance, will be presenting a major new research paper at the upcoming World Conference on Ecological Restoration in Mérida, Mexico. During a 5-year research project in Panama in which tree seedlings were planted into a variety of soils, the plot remineralized with crushed basalt rock powder got astonishing results: a 2.17 increase in height and 8 times the biomass tree volume.
Trees for Clean Energy Network (TCEN) empowers youth and women to produce clean energy biofuel to light households and power small enterprises. Joanna Campe, Executive Director of RTE, and Zablon Wagalla met each other at the World International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC 2008) vowing to partner at some time in the future growing jatropha on marginal soils with rock dust. Jatropha produces sustainable biofuel from the seeds at the same time that it restores soils and makes them arable within a few years. TCEN has started a fundraising drive to raise $6500 for a new project that will include remineralization. For more information and to make a donation click here.
This is part of RTE's commitment to fulfill the WIREC Green Pledge. To see our Pledge click here.
On November 27, a conference on rocks and alternative minerals to fertilize soils and use as biofuel was held at the Center of Mineral Technology (CETEM) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. RTE Coordinator in Brazil, Alberto Machado and Carlos Cristan, attended the event, where geologists, agronomists, veterinaries, biologists, farmers, entrepreneurs and government officials had the opportunity to discuss proposals for public policies for the support and feasibility of the remineralization of Brazilian soils.