The Second International Workshop of the Terra Preta Program took place in Manaus (Brazil) from July 9th to July 13th, 2012. The meeting was co-organized by INPA, EMBRAPA Amazonia Occidental, and the Terra Preta Program, and it was kindly hosted at INPA headquarters.
The workshop was attended by about 45 participants. Participants were linked to the Terra Preta program, were researchers or MSc/PhD students working on terra preta. This construction allowed us to have access to a large number of resource people with vast experience on a variety of topics related to terra preta or biochar.
This workshop was focussed on the scientific progress done by the PhD candidates of our program. Once again there was ample of opportunities for discussion among supervisors, resource people and PhD candidates. Given the interest expressed by participants of the previous workshop, archaeological aspects related to terra preta received considerable attention during this workshop. During the 1.5 day boat trip, we visited both the Caldeirão research site of EMBRAPA as well as the Hatahara site, where much archaeological research has been carried out by several Brazilian organizations.
A symposium organized in the framework of the workshop was divided into three major sections: the past, the present and the future of terra preta. The section on the past focussed on results of archaeological research and on the formation of terra preta in the past. The section on the present was more diverse in scope, as speakers covered terrra preta from a variety of fields (policy, soil biology, ecology). The section of the future focussed on terra preta as a model for creation of “terra preta nova”. The symposium was well attended by a large and diverse audience.