Tropical peatlands: current plight and the need for responsible management

Peatlands are important carbon stores, but when drained (e.g. for agriculture), this carbon is released to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (CO2, a greenhouse gas). Globally, at least 15% of peatlands have been drained, mostly in Europe and South-east Asia, and are responsible for 5% of human-derived CO2 emissions. Peatlands have been exploited for generations, but not without local to global consequences, particularly in South-East Asia. However, recognition of the continuous environmental toll caused by peatland exploitation is leading to a need to change attitudes and practices, in order to propel a move towards a more balanced and responsible use of peat in both northern and tropical peatlands.
  • Authors: Green, S.M., Page, S.E.
  • Author Affiliation: University of Leicester
  • Subjects: peatlands, tropics, carbon sinks, carbon cycle, carbon dioxide, emissions, ecosystem management
  • Publication type: Journal Article
  • Source: Geology Today 33(5): 174-170
  • Year: 2017
  • DOI:
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