Peatlands disappearance of concern

Nov 10, 2006

A report released Friday at a U.N. conference in Kenya indicates clearing peat lands threatens the world's ability to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The report released at the U.N. Climate Change Conference, meeting until Nov. 17 in Nairobi, finds deforestation, frequent fires, draining for agriculture use and timber are among the reasons valuable peat lands are disappearing, and countries are doing little to limit the damage.

Marcel Silvius of Wetland International said peat fires produce heavy smoke and take long to extinguish, contributing to carbon dioxide emissions.

"No more peat land should be cleared and projects to reclaim the lost lands should be started in the already lost areas," Silvius said.

Peat lands are made up of densely packed, partly decayed plant matter thousands of years old and while they occupy a mere 3-5 percent of the Earth's surface, can absorb 25-30 percent of the world's carbon dioxide.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Shell files new plan to drill in Arctic

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Shell files new plan to drill in Arctic

7 hours ago

Royal Dutch Shell has submitted a new plan for drilling in the Arctic offshore Alaska, more than one year after halting its program following several embarrassing mishaps.

Reducing water scarcity possible by 2050

9 hours ago

Water scarcity is not a problem just for the developing world. In California, legislators are currently proposing a $7.5 billion emergency water plan to their voters; and U.S. federal officials last year ...

User comments : 0