23 July 2008
Experts Gather to Prevent Destruction of Wetlands and Consequent GHG Releases
story highlights

21 July 2008: Over 700
experts from 28 nations are gathering at the eighth INTECOL International
Wetlands Conference, which is taking place from 20-25 July 2008, in Cuiaba,
Brazil, to agree on measures to better manage and slow the decline of wetlands
that are among the planet’s most threatened ecosystems.

The event
is hosted by the Cuiaba-based Pantanal Regional Environmental Programme, a
joint effort of the UN University and Brazil’s Federal University of Mato
Grasso. The Conference opened amidst increased concern that warming world
temperatures are speeding the rates of decomposition of trapped organic
material and evaporation, while threatening critical sources of wetlands
recharge by melting glaciers and reducing precipitation. According to an
article published in the Science magazine, although wetlands cover 6% of
Earth’s land surface, they store 10-20% of its terrestrial carbon. Scientist
warn that the further destruction of wetlands through human and climate
change-related causes is likely to lead to the release of carbon from these
sinks, thereby worsening the global warming problem. [ScienceDaily, 21 July 2008] [Conference website]