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Malaysia’s forgotten ecosystem: peatland

March 5, 2020
News item image Burning peatland releases ancient stored carbon

Whilst halting loss of tropical forest in Malaysia is clearly a global priority, the 1.54 million hectares of remaining peat swamp attract less media attention. Peatlands are the most carbon-rich terrestrial ecosystem per unit area, and so from a climate change mitigation perspective, preserving them is vital. However, Malaysia’s peat swamps are under threat from intentional drainage to make way for building projects, such as the recent announcement of creation of a Business Centre in Kuala Langat Utara. This article explains why peatlands are such an important carbon sink, and draws attention to the neglect of peatlands in Malaysia.