Why peatlands matter

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What is peat?

Peat is a type of organic soil which is made up of partly decomposed vegetation and is formed over centuries in waterlogged conditions. Peat has been on our planet for around 360 million years. Some peatlands in existence today took more than 10,000 years to develop.

Where is it found?

Peat exists in a variety of climates around the world. From high altitudes to coastal areas and from tropical rainforests to permafrost regions towards the poles, where soil has been frozen year round for at least two years. The vast majority of peatlands can be found in colder climates, in temperate or boreal areas. Tropical countries with large stores of peat include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia and Peru. 68% of tropical peatlands are found in Southeast Asia.


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DOI:
https://doi.org/10.17528/cifor/006453
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