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Peatland Subsidence in the Tropics

90% of the peatlands in Southeast Asia are however converted and drained – mainly due to logging, palm oil and pulp wood plantations. Over recent years it is shown that peatland drainage in Southeast Asia causes huge carbon emissions which substantially contributes to the warming of the world’s climate. Few people realize however that peatland drainage also causes the land to gradually subside; this can be detected from various features, such as these exposed roots, damaged buildings and infrastructure. Peatland subsidence will finally create a high flood risk. When natural wet peat soils are drained, the peat layer will slowly subside, as a result of water loss, oxidation and erosion. This process happens in all drained peatlands in the world, but more rapidly under warm tropical circumstances.

Produced by Wetland International
Editing Facility: Indonesia Nature Films Society


Ocean & Coastal, Peatlands, Works