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Peruvian peatlands: Carbon sinks only?

Peatlands play a significant role in tackling climate change thanks to their carbon storage capacity, which is considerably high below ground due to the waterlogged condition of the soil. Recent research (Draper et al., 2014) shows that they can store  ̶ including below- and above-ground carbon ̶  near half the amount of the above-ground carbon in all of Peru’s forests, even when these peatlands represent only 3% of the Peruvian forest area. However, their importance covers more aspects than the environmental. This article attempts to give a more comprehensive approach about peatlands, specifically from Peru, and how they fit into the country’s dynamics. Peruvian peatlands are shown from different perspectives, considering their ecological, social, economic, and cultural importance. Consequently, their conservation must be a national-level priority.

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