top of page

Researchers: Commercial Agriculture Cannot Invade Congo's Peatlands

Recently discovered peatlands in Amazonia and Africa must be protected from commercial agriculture to prevent environmental disaster, say researchers at the University of St Andrews.

Extensive deforestation, drainage, burning and conversion of peat swamp forests to rice and oil plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia over recent decades have caused huge carbon releases into the environment.

As well as resulting in Indonesia being one of the largest emitters of carbon on the planet, this has led to severe air pollution due to the smoke from peat fires, and the loss of habitat for iconic species such as the orangutan.

A series of recent discoveries has shown that peatlands also cover large parts of Amazonia and Africa. These currently remain largely intact, beyond the present-day frontier of agriculture.

bottom of page