Dr Vincent Lal1, Dr. Katy Soapi2, Dr. Isoa Korovulavula3
1University of The South Pacific, The Institute Of Applied Sciences, Suva, Fiji, 2University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji, 3University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji
The Institute of Applied Sciences Analytical Laboratory at the University of the South Pacific (USP) is an accredited laboratory that serves USP 12 member countries in the Pacific Island Region (PIR). The analysis of Organic Carbon in soil and sediment samples are performed using the Walkley and Black method using 1 g of soil. A key difficulty is that the Walkley-Black method may result in low test results for certain soils with organic matter greater than 6%. However, the method performs well with soil or sediment samples with low organic matter. To further develop testing capacity for measuring Organic Carbon for ongoing Initiative on Blue Carbon, there is a need to adopt measurement techniques with direct sample introduction such as the CHN analyser by loss of ignition. Additionally, there is a need to build capacity in the laboratory so that technicians in the laboratories in the Pacific Island Region are able to achieve accreditation for the testing of Organic Carbon. Taking part in soil proficiency testing offered by ASPAC could assist in improvements in quality control. This will ensure quality data is produced in the Pacific Island Region laboratories and can be useful for development of Policies in the Region on initiatives like the Blue Carbon.