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Congo, DR Congo launch joint appeal for peatland protection

Global warming and climate change

As the the threats of climate change continue to get more real, the Republic of Congo and neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, have launched a joint appeal for funds to aid in protecting their tropical peatlands.

In a joint statement issued on Monday, the two countries said they hoped to gain “guarantees in the form of funding… with the aim of sufficiently offsetting” sacrifices made by their populations if the peatlands are left untouched.

The Congo basin forest is the second largest in the world after the Amazon and the swampy peatlands which cover over 145,000 square kilometres, hold a massive stock of carbon estimated at 30 billion tonnes.

Draining these peatlands for agriculture would release huge amounts of planet-warming greenhouse gases, scientists have warned.

Current greenhouse gas emissions from drained or burning peatlands are estimated to amount to up to 5 percent of all emissions caused by human activity.

The environment ministers from the two countries have agreed to set up a joint peatland management mechanism.