Name of the association
The association shall be called “Nordic Biochar Network”.
In the context of the network, the term “biochar” shall not be limited to a certain biogenic feedstock, production or application but refer to the solid product of biomass pyrolysis or other thermochemical conversion processes that result in a carbonaceous solid with a porous structure. Thereby, the network shall remain open for actors in various fields.
Purpose of the association
The objectives of the Nordic Biochar Network are to
- Promote research and education in the field of biochar
- Facilitate communication and collaboration between national initiatives in the Nordic countries
- Promote exchange and collaboration with other national and international initiatives
- Disseminate information and raise awareness about biochar
- Promote co-operation and information exchange between various actors in biochar research, production, application and policy.
Organization form and residence
The Nordic Biochar Network is a non-profit organization. As such, it shall act autonomously. The Nordic Biochar Network is an association registered in Norway.
The network resides at the president’s address. An additional post address can be provided to facilitate correspondence to the network.
Any individual engaged in or with an interest in work related to biochar in the Nordic countries can be accepted as a member. The membership is always personal.
Each member is obligated to comply with the rules of the network listed in these statutes as well the decisions made according to these rules. Furthermore, members shall promote the objectives of the network.
4.3 Membership fee
The board decides the membership fee. In order to change the membership fee, a majority vote consisting of at least 50 % of the members present at the general meeting is required.
The payment of the membership fee is done according to the board’s decision.
A member that neglects to pay the membership fee within a required time period may be excluded from the network.
A member may terminate the membership by giving notice in writing to the secretariat. Paid membership fees will not be reimbursed.
A member that intentionally violates the rules and decisions of the network or intentionally damages the reputation of the network can be expelled from the network by decision of the board. Before such a decision is made, the member shall be given the opportunity to present an explanation.
A member that has resigned or been expelled may re-enter the network by means of a general membership application. In the case of a previous expulsion, the decision of the membership application shall be made by the board.
5.1 Members of the board
The members of the board must also be members of the network. The board shall consist of four to eight members. The network shall aim to include at least one representative of Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway, respectively, in the board. The members of the board are elected with a majority vote for a period of one year at the general meeting. The re-election of board members is possible. Suggestions for future board members are to be submitted to the board before the agenda to the general meeting is sent out (cf. 6.2)
The board consists of the president, the vice president, the treasurer, the secretary and up to four additional members. After being elected at the general meeting, the board will decide these roles among themselves.
5.2 Duties of the board
The board of the Nordic Biochar Network is responsible for the steering of the network, ensuring the compliance of the network with its objectives and promote its visibility and reputation.
The board shall
- Appoint a president, vice president, treasurer and secretary within itself
- Hold at least one board meeting every year
- Report to the network’s members about the board activities
- Plan the network’s long-term activities
- Accept new members
- Decide the membership fee
- Apply for funding
- Prepare general meetings
- Appoint sub-committees, working groups or representatives
- Deal with all matters regarding the network that are not regulated or provided for by general rules or appointed representatives.
5.3 Board meetings
The board shall meet at least once per year. Additional meetings are held upon request. The calling to a board meeting shall be made no later than seven working days prior to the date of the meeting. This calling shall include an agenda as well as information about time and place of the meeting.
In urgent cases, a special board meeting can be held with a calling shorter than seven working days prior to the meeting, if all board members agree to this.
Minutes of the meeting shall summarize the content of all board meetings, including decisions and actions. The minutes shall be open for correction/addition from all board members before being finalized.
5.4 Board decisions
The board can make decisions during meetings attended by at least four members including the president or vice president. Decisions of the board must be made with a three-quarter majority of the board members attending a meeting. Voting is conducted openly unless a secret vote is requested.
If a member of the board is unable to attend a board meeting (e.g. due to longer absence), the board may accept a substitute.
As the network is a non-profit organization, the members of the board are not paid. However, compensation for expenses in connection with network activities can be paid. Such decisions are made by the board.
5.7 Signature right
The president, vice president, treasurer and secretary each have the right to give their signature on behalf of the network.
6.1 Purpose and participation
The purpose of the general meeting is to inform all members of the network’s activities, its finances and to decide on future strategies. All members of the Nordic Biochar Network can participate in general meetings.
6.2 Timing, location and agenda
The general meeting shall be held once a year. It can be coordinated with meetings, conferences or workshops that are not directly connected to the network but provide a framework to facilitate participation of the members.
The president shall issue the calling to the general meeting to the members as soon as possible, but no later than two weeks prior to the meeting. This calling shall include information about time and place of the meeting. All members are given at least one week to submit their contributions and proposals to the agenda, including suggestions for future board members. The final agenda will be sent out no later than one week prior to the general meeting. Any additionally needed material is to be sent out with the agenda.
During the general meeting, the members will
- Open the meeting
- Choose a chairperson, a secretary, one examiner (to check the meeting protocol) and one scrutineer (to observe all voting)
- Confirm the quorum and validity of the meeting
- Approve the meeting agenda
- Be informed by the president about the network’s activities in the past year and the proposed action plan for the following year
- Be presented the financial report and the auditor report of the past year
- Approve the action plan as well as the planned budget and membership fees
- Elect the board (four to eight members) for the following year
- Elect an auditor for the following year
- Discuss and decide additional matters
- Close the meeting
The minutes of the meeting will be signed by the chairperson, secretary and examiner and made available to all members of the network as soon as possible.
Each member attending the general meeting has one vote. Voting rights must be exercised personally or by a member’s representative, who must provide a written and dated authorization.
All votes are conducted openly unless a secret vote is requested by at least one-third of the members attending the general meeting. Decisions made by the general meeting require a simple majority. If the number of votes in an open vote is equal, the opinion supported by the president shall apply. If the number of votes in a secret vote is equal, the outcome will be determined by the drawing of lots.
6.4 Extraordinary general meetings
Extraordinary general meetings can be held upon request. These do not need to follow the procedure listed in 6.3
Modification of the statutes
These statues may be modified and/or amended. Proposals regarding such changes can be submitted by any member of the network and must be brought to the attention of the board. Proposals are handled at general meetings. If the board supports the proposed change to the statutes, a simple majority of votes at the general meeting suffices their implementation. If the board does not support the proposed changes, their implementation requires at least a three-quarter majority of the votes at the general meeting.
The general meeting can decide the discontinuation of the Nordic Biochar Network. This requires the support of all members present at two consecutive general meetings, whereas only one of these may be an extraordinary general meeting. If the decision is made to end the network’s activities, the general meeting shall decide how the board shall handle remaining resources.