Peatlands have been heavily exploited and damaged. Peatlands are vital to slow the effects of climate change, by acting as carbon sinks, writes expert in peatland restoration, Bin Xu. Globally, peatland covers more than three million square kilometres, and contains more than 550 gigatonnes of carbon. Around 15% of global peatland has been drained by trenching, contributing to 5.6% of global carbon dioxide emissions already. But it is possible to restore boreal peatlands by focusing on keystone species. Peatlands are one of the most valuable terrestrial ecosystems in our fight against climate change. These deep layers of partially decayed plants and other organic material are tens of thousands of years old. Globally, peatland covers more than three million square kilometres, and contains more than 550 gigatonnes of carbon — more than any other type of terrestrial ecosystems, including forests . In fact, one square metre of northern peatlands contains five times the amount of carbon as one square metre of Amazon’s tropical forest. Unfortunately, peatlands have been heavily exploited and damaged. They’ve been drained, converted into agricultural fields and burned or mined for access to natural resources. But the United Nations Environment Program is leading the Global Peatlands Initiative […]

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