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New map reveals more peat in the tropics

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Key messages

  • A new global wetlands map, which uses a multisource approach (satellite, climatic and topographic data) and is underpinned by an expert system model with high spatial detail (232 x 232 m2), is now available. The map suggests that much more peat exists in the tropics than was previously reported.
  • Unprecedented areas and volumes of peatlands, three times the size of previous estimates, are identified in the tropics, mainly outside Asia.
  • Brazil emerges to be the main host of peat areas and volumes, closely followed by Indonesia.
  • Tropical and sub-tropical peatland-hosting countries in all continents can use the map to direct, locate and prioritize conservation and management of wetlands and peatlands in the context of climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  • Scientific engagement should be continued through intensive field campaigns to validate these new peat hotspots; the interactive map will facilitate this process.


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